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Tech Focus: FPGA

Processing Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


VME and OpenVPX Team Up for Hybrid Solutions

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Computing and Comms Enable Mil Vehicle Modernization Efforts


Volume 14

Number 5

SPECIAL FEATURE Military Vehicle Upgrades and Modernization

10 Computing and Comms Enable Mil Vehicle Modernization Efforts Jeff Child

16 VICTORY Initiative Lays Path to Improve Vehicle C4ISR Designs David Jedynak, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions

COTS (kots), n. 1. Commercial off-the-shelf. Terminology popularized in 1994 within U.S. DoD by SECDEF Wm. Perry’s “Perry Memo” that changed military industry purchasing and design guidelines, making Mil-Specs acceptable only by waiver. COTS is generally defined for technology, goods and services as: a) using commercial business practices and specifications, b) not developed under government funding, c) offered for sale to the general market, d) still must meet the program ORD. 2. Commercial business practices include the accepted practice of customerpaid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements. —Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for the U.S. Military, COTS is a procurement philosophy and does not imply commercial, office environment or any other durability grade. E.g., rad-hard components designed and offered for sale to the general market are COTS if they were developed by the company and not under government funding.

Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook Military Systems and Security 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products

70 Editorial Superheroes and Supercomputing

22 IEEE Instrumentation Standard Suits Needs of Military System Designs Neal Stollon, HDL Dynamics

Coming in June See Page 68

TECH RECON Hybrid Systems Blend OpenVPX and Legacy VME

32 Hybrid Backplanes Link Legacy VME with OpenVPX Performance Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Military Batteries and Power Converters

42 Mil Batteries and Power Supplies Advance Their Game Jeff Child

48 Thermal Management: Key to Designing for Harsh Environments Dennis Scott, Noren Products


56 FPGA Boards Crank Up Their Processing Muscle Jeff Child


FPGA Processing Boards Roundup Digital subscriptions available:

On The Cover: The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program creates a common family of vehicles with multiple variants and associated companion trailers. Lockheed Martin’s JLTV is designed to meet standards for IED-protected vehicles, while weighing approximately 40 percent less than other all-terrain models. Tests verified that it can protect soldiers from powerful blasts and still be transported by vertical lift transports such as CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin).

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

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COTS Journal HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301 Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2011, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.



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COTS Journal | May 2012

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NOTEBOOK Military Systems and Security


n the summer of 2006, the Army mandated that all computers it acquires will have a chip on the processor board that is dedicated to performing security function known as Trusted Platform Module (TPM). While talking about the industry with several users and suppliers this month, they were saying that the Army is going to stop giving waivers this year to that requirement. That motivated me to learn more about TPM and its impact, since I’ve seen this feature called out in some—but not all— product news releases that have been coming across my desk. In September of 2011, Jeff Child stated the following in his column: “For several years anti-tamper technology has been required in all new military programs per the 5000-series directives from the U.S. DoD. In the language of DoD Directive 5200.39, the mission of anti-tamper in electronic design is to deter (or delay) reverse engineering of critical program information (CPI), defined as ‘information, technologies, or systems, which, if compromised, would degrade combat effectiveness, shorten the expected combateffective life of a system, or alter program direction.’ For the past several years, system developers have been able to get waivers allowing them to use anti-tamper ICs in their systems. But some predict that within five years, those waivers will no longer be given.” Those timing predictions may now be a little too generous. Developed by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), TPM conforms to the group’s standard specifications. TCG was founded in 2003 to produce industry-standard, vendor-neutral specifications for hardware and software security that will work across multiple platforms. The group has 120 industry members. For this type of security to be meaningful, it has to be universal and based on standards, otherwise what you have are fragmented solutions and it’s impossible for IT managers to have a comprehensive security strategy. TPM alone only addresses some of the more basic security issues; networking and joint operation issues are more complex and require additional hardware or software. The Intel TPM module-AXXTPME3 chip (Figure 1) is a hardware-based security device that addresses the problem of providing integrity for the boot process and increased data protection. In conjunction with the TPM, Intel also offers another piece of hardware, the Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), which is a hardware extension to their processors and chipsets that further enhances tamper resistance. Full detailed information on TPM and TXT can be found in the Intel Trusted Platform Module Hardware User’s Guide. And I’m not going to attempt to address it here. The Army’s interest and support for the TPM came from the fact that the TCG was an open standard for both hardware and 6

COTS Journal | May 2012

I/O Storage


Non-Volatile Secure Storage

Opt-In Off by Default

Security Enablement Key Generation


Secure Platform Configuration Registers

Secure Program Exec Engine

Random Number Generator Platform Identity Keys (AIK)

Figure 1

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a hardware-based security device designed to provide integrity for the boot process and increased data protection. software, and was supported by a large number of key industry suppliers and users. One of the major reasons the Army has provided waivers willy-nilly is that they have not implemented all the software, network and joint operation requirements to take advantage or even utilize TPM. Impending reduction or elimination in providing waivers indicates that some of the Army’s problems have been resolved. System product developers that have implemented TPM in their designs may be at an advantage. Companies like Adlink, General Micro Systems, Kontron and Trenton Systems have highlighted the TPM feature in several of their product releases. If the Army is in fact leading the way for implementing TPM throughout all of the DoD and other government agencies, then we may soon not only see TPM featured on all new computing systems products but also other enhancements to expand security.

Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal


INSIDE TRACK GE IP SBCs to be Deployed for U.S. Navy BFTT Systems GE Intelligent Platforms has secured orders from the U.S. Navy for a quantity of GE’s PowerXtreme Power7E single board computers. These will be deployed as part of the Battle Force Tactical Trainer (BFTT) program that is designed to deliver optimum training and simulation capabilities to U.S. Navy ships. BFTT systems are used in over 100 U.S. Navy warships, including CVN, CG (Figure 1), DDG, LHA, LHD, LPD and LSD class ships. The value of the order is $1.85 million. The Power7E is one of a range of PowerXtreme 6U VME single board computers using Freescale PowerPC processor technology. The single board computer is a critical element of the BFTT system, providing advanced real-time data processing functions. BFTT is a highly flexible, interactive, single ship-, group-, or force-level tactical combat system trainer. The purpose of BFTT is to provide training to enhance naval combat readiness. BFTT provides a critical over-arching training capability for developing and maintaining proficiencies required for a complex modern shipboard combat system in today’s warfighting environment. BFTT in effect wraps around the ship’s combat system to provide a comprehensive and coordinated training environment.

Figure 1

GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

Battle Force Tactical Trainer (BFTT) systems are used in over 100 U.S. Navy warships, including the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).

DRS Defense Solutions Tapped for Boeing KC-46 Tanker IBR2 Program

the 179 aircraft will be manufactured and delivered through the year 2028.

DRS Defense Solutions, a DRS Technologies subsidiary, announced that its Intelligence, Communications and Avionics Solutions (ICAS) business unit received a contract award from Boeing’s Defense Space & Security group to integrate its Intelligence Broadcast Receiver Block 2 (IBR2) tactical terminal onto the KC-46A Tanker aircraft (Figure 2). The IBR2 tactical terminal provides the user with the ability to receive near real-time situational awareness information, such as threat data and locator information for search and rescue operations, as well as Blue Force Tracking data. The IBR2 tactical terminal receives this critical data via Integrated 8

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 2

Artist’s rendering of a Boeing KC-46A tanker preparing to refuel a B-1B bomber in flight. Broadcast Service and Common Interactive Broadcast waveforms over UHF SATCOM links. The KC-46A tanker is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft being developed by Boeing to replace the U.S. Air Force’s 1950s-era KC-135 Stratotanker fleet. Boeing will replace 179 of the USAF’s existing tankers with the KC-46A. The initial contract calls for Boeing to deliver 18 tankers by 2017. The balance of

DRS Technologies Parsippany, NJ. (973) 898-1500. []. Figure 3

Northrop Grumman and ATK Complete Hardware for NASA Telescope Backplane Northrop Grumman and its teammate ATK have completed the construction of the center section of the primary mirror backplane support structure (PMBSS) for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, an important milestone in the telescope’s hardware development. Northrop Grumman is under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD for the design and devel-

The center section of the James Webb Space Telescope flight backplane has been completed by ATK at its facility in Magna, Utah. Watch a FAQ video about the telescope at www. opment of Webb’s sunshield, telescope and spacecraft. The PMBSS will support the telescope’s beryllium mirrors, instruments, thermal control systems and other elements during ground tests, launch and most importantly during science operations. The PMBSS holds


Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262. [].

Cisco Teams with X-ES to Bring Cisco IOS IP into Mil Rugged Systems Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) has announced a pair of embedded products that are the first to host Cisco’s IOS IP routing software. This approach lets the large majority of IT professionals that are trained on Cisco IOS deploy compatible rugged hardware to an already deployed systems with no training time or expense. The first is the XPedite5205 ESR a PMC embedded router module hosting Cisco IOS. The second is the SFFR, a box-level packaged router hosting Cisco IOS. At less than 72 cubic inches and 3.5 pounds, the SFFR is the smallest available ruggedized router running Cisco IOS. This rugged router, available in either natural convectioncooled or conduction-cooled enclosures, can be added to almost any available surface of a vehicle or aircraft or deployed in the harshest of environments. Both products incorporates

Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities to provide highly secure data, voice, and video communications to stationary and mobile network nodes across both wired and wireless links. When combined with UHF, VHF, Wi-Fi and other radio platforms, the combination can

create mobile, wireless ad hoc networks, without requiring a connection to central infrastructure. Both also offer on-board hardware acceleration and hardware encryption along with integrated threat control using Cisco IOS Firewall, Cisco IOS Zone-based Firewall,

Cisco IOS Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), and Cisco IOS Content Filtering. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [].

Military Market Watch Budget Tightening Causes Ripples in UAS Programs Recently, the Navy identified a requirement for a new system called the Medium Range Maritime (MRM) UAS. In the face of dwindling funds, the MRM was cancelled in the 2013 budget. But an ingenious solution to the MRM was found. The Navy is now placing the MQ-8B operating system into a COTS Bell 407 airframe that Northrop Grumman calls Fire-X. This new platform will be designated the MQ-8C Firescout and will be an optionally piloted aircraft (OPA). Hence, it will have more range and payload capabilities as well as the ability to conduct missions where a pilot is required. Missions like flying through airspace that does not currently allow unmanned aircraft. While the Navy MQ-8C vs MRM maintains that the MQ-8C will not 800 have all of the capabilities it wanted in the MRM, it does provide a close 700 approximation. After all, speculation 600 was that some variant of the MQ-8C would have been Northrop’s entry 500 into the MRM competition. 400 As Figure 4 shows, the MRM 300 was going to cost about $717 million through 2015. The MQ-8C is forecast to 200 cost about $560 million over the same 100 time period. That amounts to a $157 million cost savings over four years. 0 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total And that doesn’t account for the fact that all the funding for the MRM was MRM RDT&E MQ-8C Procurement earmarked for research and development while MQ-8 funding will procure Figure 4 between 26 and 32 MQ-8C aircraft (the While the MRM was expected to cost about $717 million through 2015, number not made into MQ-8Cs will be MQ-8Bs). One could argue that the the MQ-8C is forecast to cost about $560 million over the same time MQ-8C COTS solution saved the entire period. $700+ million MRM bill at the expense of having a slightly smaller payload and a slightly shorter range than the MRM would have required. Unfortunately, all Firescouts were grounded in early April due to concerns after a couple of in-flight accidents. Imagine the difference in cost that those accidents would have incurred had the platforms been the result of a development project like the MRM that would have cost nearly $1 billion. The MQ-8C is just one case that shows how the use of proven COTS systems can help keep development costs down until new, more technologically advanced systems and designs are fully tested and vetted. For more information contact Frost & Sullivan. Millions ($)

the 18-segment, 21-foot-diameter primary mirror nearly motionless while the telescope is peering into deep space. The center section backplane (Figure 3) is the first completed flight subassembly of the PMBSS and is several months ahead of the current baseline schedule. The center section backplane of Webb’s PMBSS was designed, constructed and tested at ATK facilities in Magna, Utah. ATK manufactured 1,781 composite parts of the center section using lightweight graphite materials and advanced manufacturing techniques.

Frost & Sullivan. San Antonio, TX. (210) 348-1000. [].

May 2012 | COTS Journal


SPECIAL FEATURE Military Vehicle Upgrades and Modernization


COTS Journal | May 2012

Computing and Comms Enable Mil Vehicle Modernization Efforts Next-gen vehicle platforms are in the pipeline but moving slowly. In the interim, modernization and upgrades of existing vehicles are stealing the thunder. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


ver the past year the DoD and U.S. Army continued to rethink and revamp their plans for next-gen vehicle requirements, and that necessitated rethinking previously planned electronics. Onboard communications and control electronics are still expected to multiply in sophistication for both next-generation and Current Force fighting vehicles. But in the short term, tech upgrades of existing vehicles will be the dominant activity in this space. Over the next ten years, main battle tanks are expected to comprise the largest overall submarket in the global armored vehicle upgrade and retrofit market according to market research firm ASDReports. There will also be demand for upgrades to medium armored vehicles and light protected vehicles, while that for medium mine-resistant vehicles is expected to decline from its high level in the first part of the forecast period. Certainly the U.S. will be the largest market in the next few years, as it addresses urgent requirements for armored vehicles deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as retrofitting vehicles returning from both theaters and integrating them into its overall armored vehicle fleet. The U.S. military also continues to upgrade its current fleet of Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley armored fighting vehicles. There will be a fall from the high levels of MRAP upgrades from 2015, due to the falling intensity of overseas operations and eventual withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. May 2012 | COTS Journal



Figure 1

M1A1 Situational Awareness (SA) modernization includes an advanced computer system with embedded diagnostics, a second generation thermal sensor, and a laser rangefinder to designate targets from increased distances.

Upgrade Programs Abound The DoD continues to modernize its ground force capabilities. Some of the existing programs targeted for upgrades include howitzers, Stryker vehicles, M1 Abrams, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). The current M1 Abrams tank modernization effort supports two variants: the M1A1 Situational Awareness (SA) (Figure 1) and the M1A2 System Enhancement Program (SEP). The M1A1 SA modernization includes steel encased depleted uranium for increased frontal and turret side armor protection, suspension improvements, an advanced computer system with embedded diagnostics, a second generation thermal sensor, and a laser rangefinder to designate targets from increased distances. The M1A2 SEP tank modernization includes a com12

COTS Journal | May 2012

manderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independent thermal weapons station, position navigation equipment, improved fire control system, and an improved AGT1500 turbine engine. The FY 2013 Budget Request provides system technical support to complete the final M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package (SEP) production, fielding and training. The Army is focused on developing a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) to provide a new infantry fighting vehicle to the warfighter. The GCV has the design growth to adapt to capabilities as the operational environment changes and technology matures, to position soldiers for long-term success. The Marine Corps is developing the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC), an advanced generation armored personnel carrier that would provide general

support lift to the marine infantry in the ground combat element-based maneuver task force. The Stryker Vehicle under the FY 2013 Budget Request is well supported. The plan calls for the procurement of 58 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles (NBCRV) as well as engineering and development efforts, including survivability and integration of targeting under armor (TUA) on the Stryker Fire Support Vehicle (FSV). The Budget Request also includes funding for the purchase of hardware modifications and the installation of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) obsolescence/safety items. Meanwhile, the Army and Marine Corps have proposed the termination of the HMMWV Recapitalization pro-


Figure 2

A rendering of BAE Systems’ and Northrop Grumman’s offering into the Ground Combat Vehicle competition—it checks in at 70 tons. For a video describing the details of this proposed GCV design go to gram. The termination of the HMMWV Recapitalization program maintains the non-deployed HMMWV fleet in its current condition. The services will continue to sustain their legacy HMMWV fleet until the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle enters the inventory.

GCV Moves toward Starting Line All eyes for the future are on the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). In FY 2009, the Army initiated the new GCV to provide soldiers essential protected mobility that is required to operate across the full spectrum of activities. Significant delays have hampered the progress of this key program. The Army entered the Technology Development Phase in August 2011, but the program was delayed due to a contract award protest. In February the BAE Systems – Northrop Grumman GCV team presented details of its GCV proposal (Figure 2). The team’s offering includes a hybrid

electric drive propulsion system that enables force protection and mobility in a lighter vehicle, while accommodating future growth in power requirements and new technologies. That allows the vehicles to meet the demands of near-term operations, while providing a platform for future integration and growth at low risk and cost. According to BAE Systems, this matches or exceeds the mine and EFP protection of RG-33 MRAP. It employs tailorable combinations of armor packages on a tough, space-efficient steel core hull. The vehicle has an unmanned turret that provides improved survivability and an upgrade path for future weapon systems. The BFV dual feed 25 mm provides soldiers with combat proven reliability and more ready rounds. Important to the embedded computing market, the platform’s C4ISR system is an open architecture enabling upgrades and infrastructure support now and in the future.

Embedded Computing Opportunities The kinds of embedded computing products suitable for military vehicles cover a wide range. Chief among these are traditional slot-card systems using VME now and OpenVPX—either alone or in hybrid VME/VPX systems. But rugged box systems are also a new mainstay solution for military vehicles. One relatively recent trend is the emergence of flat, enclosed box-level systems that offer a much smaller footprint than ATR boxes for example. An example of this type of product is the A175 from Aitech Defense Systems (Figure 3). It’s a rugged, self-contained, EMC/EMI-protected Remote Interface Unit (RIU) I/O expansion subsystem that provides dynamic mission profile reprogramming. The subsystem uses platform location monitoring built into the onboard FPGA to recognize its physical location within the platform and communicate with the main mission computer, allowing the May 2012 | COTS Journal



Figure 3

The A175 is a rugged, self-contained, EMC/EMI-protected Remote Interface Unit (RIU) I/O expansion subsystem that provides dynamic mission profile reprogramming. The subsystem can recognize its physical location within the platform and communicate with the main mission computer.

unit to alter its functionality “on-thefly” or at power up. Also classified as a data concentrator unit (DCU), the A175 optimizes SWaP (size, weight and power) with dimensions of only 7” x 7” x 1.3” and a weight of less than 2.5 lbs (the approximate weight of one 6U conduction-cooled VMEbus board), while drawing only 10W, or about the same as a standard household incandescent nightlight. A large variety of I/O interfaces and large user-programmable FPGAs make the A175 useful in highly data-centric environments such as a remote interface data concentrator or an engine and power train data monitor, as well as in vehicle prognostics data collection and condition-based maintenance (CBM).

Security for Vehicle Computers Another technology area of military vehicles is the emphasis on security and secure systems. Along those lines, two months ago Wave Systems received a contract from the U.S. Army to implement solutions for the Army’s self-encrypting 14

COTS Journal | May 2012

drives (SEDs) in support of Army operations. For its vehicle-mounted computers, the Army is exploring the enablement of SEDs with Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) in its systems in order to mitigate the possibility of data being compromised if hardware were to fall into enemy hands. Wave has been retained to provide expertise in the area of SEDs and TPMs to help yield the maximum security advantage of these technologies while minimizing the disruptive impact to Army’s fielding and sustainment. Trusted computing standards provide capabilities that can be leveraged in many mission systems where device assurance and integrity and data protection are required. As the adoption of trusted computing continues to grow across all platforms, there are many ways this industry-standard technology can be leveraged to reduce costs and improve security and assurance of any computing system. An aspect of C4ISR that’s specifically vehicle related is the Warfighter Information Network–Tactical (WIN-

T). WIN-T is the Army’s on-the-move, high-speed, high-capability backbone communications network, linking warfighters in the battlefield with the Global Information Grid (GIG). This network is intended to provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) support capabilities. The system is being developed as a network for reliable, secure and seamless video, data, imagery and voice services for the warfighters in the theater to enable decisive combat actions. The WIN-T program consists of four increments. Increment 1 (Inc 1) provides “networking at the halt” by upgrading the Joint Network Node (JNN) satellite capability to access the Ka-band defense Wideband Global Satellite (WGS). Increment 2 (Inc 2) provides initial networking on-the-move to the battlefield. Increment 3 (Inc 3) provides full networking on-the-move via air tier. Increment 4 (Inc 4) provides protected satellite communications on-the-move. The FY 2013 Budget Request procures and continues to field WIN-T Inc 1 to the Army, with a Ka satellite upgrade. Fielding of Inc 1 will be completed by the end of this quarter, and Inc 1b Material Work Order (MWO) fielding will start in the fourth quarter of FY2012.

Comms On-The-Move Separate from WIN-T, some are offering point solutions that do Communications-on-the-Move (COTM) from vehicle-mounted platforms. An example is Lockheed Martin’s Communications-on-the-Move (COTM) kit. It gives warfighters access to various networks without having to incorporate racks of equipment in their vehicles. This platform-agnostic system is a “network in a box” and its configuration can be tailored to meet changing mission requirements, eliminating the need for vehicles to be tailored specifically for mobile communications. Depending on the mission performed, the kit can be integrated from one platform to another in less than one hour. It is completely scalable, provides SATCOM connectivity and can support


anything from small unit missions with critical voice, data and video mission command services to filling the communications needs for a brigade combat team command post with complete battle staff. This sophisticated suite of communications gear includes servers, solid state storage, a network switch and a router. The kit can push various types of broadband data such as satellite imagery down to small, company-level units that lack wideband connections. It can also equip vehicles with a communications link to satellite, Enhanced Position Location Reporting System, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and UHF/VHF Line of Sight. Developed as a Lockheed Martin research and development project, the COTM kit was recently tested last year at the 2011 Joint Users Interoperability Communications Exercise. The kit is designated at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7, which means that the technology is sufficiently proven, and can be immediately incorporated into vehicles.

Vehicle Display Subsystems No matter how sophisticated and robust a vehicle-mounted network is, it’s the warfighter’s eyes that make use of the edge of those networks. That calls for display systems that are suited for the harsh environment of a mobile ground platform. Feeding those needs, GE Intelligent Platforms has developed two rugged intelligent vehicle displays that are designed for deployment in harsh environments such as tanks and other ground combat vehicles for applications including embedded training, 360° situational awareness, terrain visualization and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) as well as commander and gunner display consoles. Both integrate advanced processing capabilities to deliver a complete, self-contained, COTS display solution with a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) that enables prime contractors and OEMs to shorten timeto-market, minimize program risk

Figure 4

The IVD2010 display system has a 10.4” screen and incorporates an Intel Core2 Duo processor operating at 2.26 GHz and a 96-core NVIDIA GT 240 GPU.

and more easily add value to create a competitive advantage. The IVD2010 (Figure 4) and IVD2015 from GE Intelligent Platforms also include the advanced thermal management capabilities necessary for deployment in confined spaces. The 10.4” screen IVD2010 and 15” screen IVD2015 XGA (1,024 x 768) smart displays both incorporate not only an Intel Core2 Duo processor operating at 2.26 GHz but also a 96-core NVIDIA GT 240 GPU. Together with 4 Gbytes of SDRAM3 memory and four simultaneous video inputs, this equips them to handle the most demanding, sophisticated graphics applications such as picture-in-picture and symbology overlay, stitching multiple videos into a single

panorama, and allows high-performance GPGPU applications to be deployed directly on the display unit. Both the IVD2010 and IVD2015 also include display features designed to deliver optimum screen visibility and usability, thereby maximizing personnel effectiveness. These features include LED illumination for sunlight readability and MIL-STD-3009 NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) compatibility; a multitouch resistive touchscreen; and a high-quality optical stack-up with toughened glass.

May 2012 | COTS Journal


SPECIAL FEATURE Military Vehicle Upgrades and Modernization

VICTORY Initiative Lays Path to Improve Vehicle C4ISR Designs The legacy of stovepipe military vehicle electronics makes for difficulties as more computing systems are added. The VICTORY architecture helps solve those problems by providing a standard approach for intra-vehicle networking. David Jedynak, Manager, Advanced Solutions Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions


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lex i





COTS Journal | May 2012

1) Overcrowded / Inflexible Platform Crew Areas 2) Need to Add Capabilities / Equipment



Military Vehicle Problems to Solve


he DoD’s commitment to a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) is driving the use of open system approaches both from the technical and the procurement perspectives. An implementation of the MOSA policy is the U.S. Army’s VICTORY (Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability) initiative, whose charter is to define a standard approach for intra-vehicle networking to drive interoperability and drastically reduce component redundancy and the resulting inefficient use of limited real estate in combat vehicles caused by the use of “stovepipe” or “bolton” subsystems. Today, it is common to find combat vehicles with a SWAP-C (space/weight/ power and cost) burden due to the use of separate federated systems that have no ability to share their functionalities or data. This overburdening limits the space available for new capabilities, as well as the space available for the warfighter, within the vehicle (Figure 1). The VICTORY initiative encourages the use of COTS open system standards and reduces redundancy, not only to make additional space available, but also to reduce weight and drive down the consumption

r we ght o P ei W ize S





Figure 1

The VICTORY architecture helps solve military vehicle issues that get more acute as more electronics are added.


of power. The additional space in the vehicle has very real benefits related to under armor storage of ammunition and supplies. Even better, improving SWAPC conditions inside the vehicle reduces overall vehicle mass, improving vehicle performance.

The VICTORY initiative, which is not tied to any specific program or platform, coordinates input between government, academia and industry participants (Figure 2). The initiative was started by PEO C3T (Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-

Tactical), and the resulting consortium and its work are fully backed by PEO Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), and PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS). At its core, VICTORY is developing standards for interoperability between Line Replaceable

VICTORY Architecture Composition C4ISR/EW Systems Audio & Textual Communications Video & Imagery SA

The architecture defines sets of component types and system types that are instantiated in a VDB design

Threat Detection & Reporting


Situational Awarness & C2

Electronic Warfare

Automotive Power Distribution Lethality

Mission Recording

Extra-Vehicle Network Interface

Platform Systems


Platform Sensors

Crew Protection

VDB Enables Integration of C4ISR/EW Systems

VDB Enables Interfaces to Platform Systems

Figure 2

The VICTORY architecture abstracts the relationship between C4ISR systems and the military vehicle platforms theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re used on.

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Units (LRUs) on combat vehicles. VICTORY defines the use of non-proprietary interfaces between heterogeneous LRU subsystems. The resultant open architecture standard is not intended to define how LRUs are built, but rather how these LRUs, typically supplied by different vendors, can intercommunicate and share data and resources.

A Real-World Example To provide a sense of how today’s combat vehicles are overburdened, and how the VICTORY architecture will mitigate this challenge and related performance limitations, we can consider the example of a vehicle’s Battle Command (BC) application. The BC application informs the vehicle commander where the enemy and friendly forces are located in the relevant area of operation. Today’s BC applications rely on a GPS receiver to provide the warfighter’s own location and mapping resources. The vehicle platform may also include a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and an acoustic shot detection system that can locate the direction of incoming fire. On today’s combat vehicles these three subsystem types are standalone and do not interoperate with each other. A useful metaphor for today’s stovepipe combat vehicle LRUs is to consider what desktop computing would be like if one required a separate and non-interfaced system, likely from different vendors, for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. Essentially, this is the operating environment in today’s combat vehicles, where there is limited interoperability and almost no sharing of data or resources. This is the exact problem that VICTORY aims to eliminate. In the example, after the shot detection system identifies a location, the vehicle commander must take that data and physically move to another console to enter that data into the BC application. Next, the RWS must be aimed toward the target. With a VICTORY architecture, the BC application is run on shared processing, reducing the onboard electronics. Using VICTORY standard network messages, the threat detection system is able to communicate with both

Figure 3

VICTORY compliance is applicable to a variety of combat vehicle platforms such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. the BW application and RWS through the VICTORY Databus (based on Gigabit Ethernet). The shot detection system is now able to deliver a standard message type, with timestamp, accuracy level and GPS location data that is used by the BC application and enables the RWS to instantaneously “slew to cue” to target the imminent threat automatically. The interoperability delivered by the VICTORY architecture significantly increases combat effectiveness.

IP-Based Networking Because VICTORY LRUs communicate over distributed IP-based networks (exploiting cutting-edge commercial networking technology such as Web Services, SOAP and XML), it is now possible to eliminate redundant system components such as displays, keyboards and GPS receivers. A single keyboard and video display are all that is required for the user to control all the subsystems. May 2012 | COTS Journal



The use of open system architectures fostered by VICTORY ensures that customers have true choice with access to best-in-class cost-effective solutions by eliminating the deployment of proprietary interfaces and non-interoperable technologies. Further, by establishing a standard approach for LRU network interfaces, VICTORY will ease and speed the use of LRUs across various platforms, bringing the proven COTS model, al-


ready embraced on the Line Replaceable Module (LRM) level, to the LRU. Open standards and a myriad of vendor choices will lower costs by reducing the subsystem “lock-in” typical in today’s larger programs. For an embedded COTS vendor like Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS), VICTORY means a level playing field to compete and provide the market with a full range of interoperable


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Untitled-21 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 20

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COTS-based C4ISR components including computers, network switches, application processors and multiple LRUs for use on many vehicles. VICTORY ensures that products from CWCDS can interoperate with solutions from competing vendors. This eases the customer’s integration task while significantly reducing design risk and time-to-market, all to the benefit of the warfighter’s effectiveness.

Standard Rolls Forward The VICTORY standardization process began in May 2010. An initial timeline was established, targeting release of a deployable, usable revision 1.0 VICTORY Specification by the June/July 2011 timeframe. The Revision A VICTORY Architecture standard, describing the approach, components and services, was released in April 2011. The detailed 1.0 VICTORY Specification, detailing requirements and message sets, was delivered in June 2011, as scheduled. In early 2012, the VICTORY Specification 1.1 was released, adding more subsystem message sets and recommended standard military rugged (MIL-STD-38999) connectors for Ethernet connections, adopting a standard in use by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA). The VICTORY working groups will continue to incorporate additional vehicle and C4ISR/EW subsystems in the roadmap to VICTORY 2.0. Vendors are already beginning to see VICTORY compliance as a requirement for new Light Tactical Vehicle subsystems as well as in the emerging modernization requirements for combat vehicle platforms. This means that open standardbased rugged subsystem suppliers like CWCDS can provide critical programs such as Abrams, Bradley and Stryker Modernization, and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program (Figure 3), with their technology and packaging leadership, delivering standard-compliant products and their resulting flexibility, modularity, compatibility and reduced cost. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

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SPECIAL FEATURE Military Vehicle Upgrades and Modernization

IEEE Instrumentation Standard Suits Needs of Military System Designs As military electronic systems get more complex, the process of doing system debug and verification become ominous. The IEEE Nexus 5001 standard provides a framework that smoothes the way. Neal Stollon, CTO HDL Dynamics


s military and aerospace electronic systems become more complex, new challenges become prevalent. Effectively locating and resolving problems becomes more complex with the increased computing density and complexities of multiprocessor systems. Extensive functional and stress testing of both new system designs and mature systems are also increasingly complex analysis tasks. Better understanding of component and subsystems operations in a variety of environments and over time is important for system qualification, calibration, upgrading, and safety-critical design. The time and effort related to finding errors and bugs is an increasing amount of the overall system verification budget and typically increases in direct proportion to the complexity of a given system and application. Therefore, improving the understanding of computing systems at every level of integration for a range of operations is critical to successful system development and deployment. Detailed functional visibility into the system operation is one of the most important tools an engineer can have for optimizing and maintaining the system.


COTS Journal | May 2012

NEXUS 5001 Implementation Classes Nexus Class


Class 1 Basic run control

Static debugging Breakpoints

Class 2

Instruction Trace Watchpoints

Watchpoints Ownership Trace Program Trace

Class 3

Data Trace Read/write Access

Data Trace Real-time read/write Transfers

Class 4

Memory and Port Substitution

Memory Substitution Port Replacement

Features Single step Set breakpoints and watchpoints Two breakpoints minimum Device identification Static memory and I/O access All Class 1 features Monitor process ownership in Real-Time program tracing All Class 2 features Access memory and I/O in real time Real-Time data tracing All Class 3 features Start traces on watchpoint occurrence program execution from Nexus port

Figure 1

The IEEE 5001 standard roughly groups features in terms of four classes of increasing complexity.

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An effective method to address these requirements is by monitoring and controlling the system hardware to

discover and debug errors. Adding instrumentation to a design enables better functional observability and control

The Nexus 5001-2012 Standard The 2012 Nexus 5001 specification release adds support for 1149.7 and Aurora SerDes standard interfaces. These provide significant systems advantages in implementing more comprehensive debug instrumentation environments. IEEE 1149.7 is an extension to the 1149.1 JTAG standard that defines 2-wire JTAG interfaces as well as parallel chip level data interfaces (as opposed to 1149.1, which typically uses daisy chained serial data interfaces between chips and/or requires external logic for switching signals between multiple devices without daisy-chaining). 1149.7 also supports advanced test and debug features such as Custom Data Transport and Background Data Transport modes, not available in 1149.1, which improve JTAG data transfer flexibility and throughput. Aurora Gigabit SerDes instrumentation interface, based on the widely used Aurora link-layer protocol, allows for multiple channels to move trace and other bandwidth-intensive data across point-to-point serial links. Aurora is a scalable low-latency protocol that was originally developed for logic-constrained FPGA implementations, which provides a transparent and flexible framing interface to high-speed serial links. These standard interfaces allow for the introduction of Nexus 5001 instrumentation into systems with pin and wire limited applications such as mobile devices as well as complex networking and computing systems that require large amount of debug data to provide a useful view of system operations. Additional instrumentation interfaces may also be custom implemented based on Nexus commands. Nexus 5001 supports memory accesses to both on and off chip memory elements, transferring information to local memory for transfer and capture using other peripheral interfaces in a system. It also allows the import of specific data from memory for use in debug configurations. As an advanced example, debug-specific instructions (imported under Nexus 5001 control) may be loaded as a substitute for normal instruction control. This allows the export of trace and other debug information under processor control.

of systems to address more subtle issues related to integration and environment. A standards-based approach, IEEEISTO 5001 (aka Nexus 5001), is a robust and effective mechanism to implement embedded instruments. Nexus 5001 as a standard provides a consistent framework for a spectrum of analysis capabilities, over an increasing range of interfaces, which address support and debug of complex systems. Whether at a board or a chip level, systems contain diverse subsystem components, typically including both processors and dedicated logic. System problems may be due to hardware or software, or a combination of hardware, software and external factors. Problems may be masked or obscured by levels of board and system unit hierarchy making detection and resolution difficult. Historically, the process of systems debugging relies on a combination of system level analysis, detailed (RTL or gate) simulation and instrumentation-based analysis. For large and complex systems verification, system level approaches may be limited in ability to simulate and analyze the required functional details of large systems. Where standalone hardware or software errors may be commonly found using various simulation verification ap-

A Basic Nexus 5001 Architecture

Target Processor or Subsystem

Debug Data In Debug Data Out Debug Ctrl

TCODE & Message Control/ Formatting

Nexus Registers JTAG Registers

Data In Port FSM

AUX/SerDes In Port

Data Out Port FSM

AUX/SerDes Out Port


JTAG Port:

Figure 2

This high level overview shows the basic elements of Nexus 5001 architecture. Key to the concept is that information is transferred as packet messages consisting of fields that include information being transferred as well as information about the information.


COTS Journal | May 2012


proaches, more complex interacting errors may be beyond the ability to model and simulate effectively. Interactions of hardware and software in a real application environment can be complex, subtle and can increase with field upgrades, changes in environment, loss of calibration and other issues associated with extended use. Instrumentation-based analysis provides tools that can be used both during prototyping and in the field over the system lifecycle for identifying and rooting out of system problems. For military and aerospace systems, having external instruments available in the field is often not feasible. In addition, external instrument-based analysis has only limited I/O for access to operations embedded in the board or chip and capturing information related to subtle or infrequent errors. The automotive industry, facing similar challenges, has adopted instrumentation approaches to improve analysis capabilities. For essential functions such as engine and drive trains, most U.S. automotive systems use Nexus 5001-based instrumentation as a

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standard method for both analysis and calibration, which may be used in the lab and in the field.

What Is Nexus 5001? As military and aerospace electronics systems do not typically mandate standardization in instrumentation as part of requirements, many customized embedded debug features and implementations have been developed. In particular, instrumentation, while included in many diverse systems, may rely on ad hoc solutions developed over the years. These increase the complexity and logistics of system level debug. Other industries, in particular automotive electronics, have recognized this issue, with the result being the initial development (in 1999) of a suite of standardized debug instrumentation architectures, and their subsequent adoption as the IEEE 5001 standard, also known as Nexus 5001. Nexus 5001 has developed over the last decade as a standardbased instrumentation system that supports debug of multi and heterogeneous

processing systems with capabilities to address debug of many complex applications in computing, automotive electronics, telecom and so on. The same approach is very well suited to military and aerospace system designs. Nexus 5001 was developed to address the limitations and concerns on instrumentation in complex systems. Nexus 5001 defines a modular framework, with features such as packet-based messages, standard and user defined instructions, and user definable fields on many instructions. Standard instructions include industry proven and best in class features for instruction and data trace and data transfer, monitoring, breakpoints and run control for system debug, and importing of data for calibration and port replacement operations. Since debug-related concerns and tradeoffs vary, ranging from the increased budgeted logic required for effective system debug to adequate bandwidth and resources to debug complex architectures and systems, the IEEE 5001 standard roughly groups these features in terms of four classes of

5/4/12 2:00:3925 PM May 2012 | COTS Journal


A System Level Nexus 5001 Configuration

Subsystem 1 core core

Trace RAM

Processor Cross-triggers 1149.1 JTAG chain

core core

Local Nexus

Subsystem 2

Debug Control Messages

JTAG 2-wire (1149.7)

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COTS Journal | May 2012

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Trace Buffer

Serdes Channels

Debug Data Messages

Bidirectional For calibration capabilities

Figure 3

This example implementation uses 1149.7 and Aurora Gigabit SerDes in a system level configuration. increasing complexity, which are summarized in Figure 1. These classes are guidelines, and not all system debug features will or need to fit into a given class. A comprehensive definition of the various services and features, along with other topics in this section, is discussed in the IEEE 5001 Nexus specification.

Packet-Based Debug-centric Protocol At its core and one of the differentiating features of Nexus 5001 is that it defines a packet-based debug-centric protocol. This allows a variety of debug operations to be defined for different subsystems that can be supported by a single debug core. The debug core can have assorted instrumentation functions that are accessed by standard commands. Nexus 5001 defines standard commands for identification of subsystems, loading and access of on

chip data, including memory accesses, and a diverse set of processor instruction and data trace capabilities. Nexus 5001 also allows creation of user defined instrumentation logic, functions and commands that can be used along with the standard commands. This allows both the ability to debug using a pre-defined and proven instrumentation environment and to implement custom or application-specific instrumentation solutions that would then co-exist with the Nexus 5001 defined and implemented infrastructure. A high level overview of the Nexus 5001 architecture is shown in Figure 2, Key to the Nexus 5001 concept, information is transferred as packet messages consisting of fields that include information being transferred as well as information about the information. Each message is essentially self-contained and includes packet level fields of information for or






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from tools about the source or destination, type of information provided, the register location, timing relative to other information and so on. The source or destination of this information can be a set of Nexus registers, some of which are fully defined and others of which are open for vendor or user-specific applications. The type of debug message is defined through a TCODE header field in each packet. The Nexus 5001 specification de-


fines standardized TCODEs, which range from general purpose register accesses to application-specific trace operations.

Multicore with Nexus 5001 Nexus 5001 architecture for multicore applications allows several different implementations of a debug interface to be instantiated. Specific instruments can be implemented as required for a given subsystem using Nexus 5001-defined


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Untitled-3 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 28

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interfacing guidelines for passing information between the subsystem and the Nexus interfaces and registers. Standard Nexus 5001 commands typically use Nexus-defined registers. Custom or application-specific instruments can implement user defined registers, which may be mapped to a reserved space or a memory map. Since the transfer of information is message based, a variety of scheduling and transfer of messages between the Nexus 5001 interfaces and different cores are possible. Alternate debug approaches such as instrumented software require that the application software is modified in order to capture debug information. This can introduce changes in processor flow that may change performance or mask errors. Nexus instrumentation incorporates onchip trace and control logic that operates in a parallel background mode to the processor, which allows capture of debug information from hardware operations running at full speed. As such, Nexus instrumentation typically does not reduce processor performance and is unlikely to introduce unexpected changes or latencies that can mask a problem. Previous revisions of Nexus 5001, in common with other types of debug instruments, support 1149.1 JTAG and streaming parallel trace ports. New to the 2012 Nexus 5001 specification release, 1149.7 and Aurora SerDes standard interfaces are supported, which provide significant systems advantages in implementing more comprehensive debug instrumentation environments. An example using 1149.7 and Aurora Gigabit SerDes in a system level configuration is shown in Figure 3. The Sidebar “The Nexus 5001-2012 Standard” describes the details of the 2012 enhancements.

Why Use Nexus 5001? Debug instrumentation is valuable during the design process as both an extension of the verification process and over a system’s life cycle as a method of exploring and debugging those operational scenarios that are not too realistically possible with simulation-based tools. The key consideration of including instrumentation in a design is that for a


modest investment in hardware design and logic, it allows for real-time testing of hardware and software both under conditions being simulated and in real-life environments that may be too complex or costly to include in a simulation. Components with debug resources, such as processors and FPGAs, work differently, have different data formats and are not trivial to integrate. Nexus 5001 provides a common debug framework

that can be used with both diverse processor and logic systems. The ability to comprehensively debug systems that include different devices and subsystems is important to the design validation and verification concepts that are central to the DO-254 and 17B initiatives. Nexus 5001 provides a best in class standards-based approach to the problems of debug of complex and diverse systems. It has application at board level

as well as chip levels of integration to discover and address problems and root causes of issues using real-time trace and analysis features, as well as supporting calibration and BIST operations. Nexus 5001 provides a comprehensive standard set of debug options for processor and multiprocessor systems along with features to easily integrate in custom and user defined instruments. Nexus 5001 use has been proven on over 15 different processor architectures and has been used extensively in reliability critical applications such as automotive engine and power train electronics.

More Interface Options Nexus 5001 has supported industry standard 1149.1 JTAG and parallel trace and calibration ports since its initial release in 1999. With the release of IEEE 5001-2012, Nexus 5001 also supports emerging debug interfaces such as IEEE 1149.7, which allows new JTAG features such as 2-wire interfaces and parallel chip and board level debug configurations. This allows subsystems to be interconnected for debug purposes with a minimal pin interface at the chip, board and systems levels. IEEE 5001-2012 also specifies highspeed trace using industry standard SerDes interfaces, allowing improved real-time trace bandwidth needed to support multicore architectures. Nexus 5001 is supported by an industry organization, the 5001 Nexus Forum, which provides resources for both technical and business support of the IEEE 5001 standard. In complex environments where system reliability and accessibility are critical, Nexus 5001 in conjunction with other debug instrumentation solutions provide real advantages in helping to observe, control and understand operations of complex computing systems. Neal Stollon is chairman of the 5001 Nexus Forum, which provides industry support for Nexus. HDL Dynamics (972) 458-9625 Dallas, TX 75248 []. Untitled-2 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 30

5/3/12 2:47:47 PM


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TECH RECON Hybrid Systems Blend OpenVPX and Legacy VME

Hybrid Backplanes Link Legacy VME with OpenVPX Performance There are numerous situations where neither serving legacy VME nor accommodating advanced OpenVPX can be sacrificed. That’s where hybrid VME/OpenVPX technologies blend the two worlds. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


specially in this period of lean budgets, tried and true embedded computing architectures like VME are expected to enjoy continued success. Today more than 400 programs in the military are using VME. VME has been able to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. Now, VME upgrades and refreshes are much more likely to be funded, rather than forklift upgrades requiring new backplanes, packaging and power supplies. All that said, there are many programs—or parts of programs—that need to make use of the most advanced computing technologies. Aircraft computers need to process more sensor data on board in real time to identify targets and react to them (Figure 1). Data rates from front-end sensors continue to climb and require much higher intersystem bandwidth. OpenVPX is needed in such situations. To help the legacy world of VME work alongside OpenVPX, the VPX backplane architecture allows for f lexible hybrid configurations. These configurations include f lexible topologies, multiple signaling protocols, and hybrid core 32

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 1

The F/A-18F Super Hornet is an example where hybrid VME/OpenVPX technology makes sense. Such aircraft have reliable avionics systems based on legacy electronics. Meanwhile, upgrades to sensors call for faster data processing on board in real time to identify targets and react to them.

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architectures comprised of mixed VPX and legacy VME64x configurations.

Designed That Way at the Start The VPX architecture is designed to simultaneously support a mix of bus segments. For example, these integrated bus segments can be configured in full mesh, pipeline or single or dual star topologies. It is also permissible to have some slots configured as legacy parallel VME. An advantage of a hybrid backplane is that it permits the use of existing hardware and preserves years of development and system cost. Hybrid backplanes are a good strategy when an existing legacy board performs a function that won’t cause a system bottleneck and can’t be replaced since it was customized for a unique and very specific purpose. An example is a microwave tuning module designed to deliver unique signal detection capabilities in a specific frequency range. To recreate such a module in a new standard form factor, like OpenVPX, would require a prohibitive amount of engineering while adding risk to the program. In many ways, hybrid topology thinking is fundamental to the basic architecture of VPX. Many of the leading vendors of embedded computer boards who collaborated within the VITA 46 working group had different fabric interconnect topologies in mind for their markets. Some were best served by pipeline architectures; other types of applications are ideal for mesh topologies. Combining topologies isn’t that much of a leap—where one group of cards is connected in a mesh and other groups of cards pass data from one card to another in a straight pipeline. With that in mind, it was agreed from the very beginning that the VPX backplane would allow system architects to select the ideal mix of topologies.

The Dot Spec Approach With the goal of defining the proper usage of a variety of optional topologies and their mixed use, the VITA 46 working group developed specific “dot-specs” that define each supported topology. VITA 46.0 is the base specification and sets the requirements for the backplane’s differential signal assign-







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46.1 dot-spec allows the integrator to specify how many slots will support the parallel VME signals. All slots would also conform to the basic requirements of VITA 46.0. The backplane is where the hybrid system is realized. An OpenVPX backplane profile is a physical definition of a backplane implementation. That profile has details such as the number and

type of slots that are implemented and the topologies used to interconnect them. A backplane profile is a description of channels and buses that interconnect slots and other physical entities in a backplane. Profile parameters are used to further describe properties of a backplane profile. It helps to understand some of the general hybrid backplane options in order to see whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible, although

there are ultimately many variations that could be implemented. At one extreme, a relatively simple approach is shown in Figure 2, based on an interface module and a VME VITA 31.1 compact packet switched backplane (cPSB over VME). Since VITA 31.1 is a full 1000BASE-T implementation and VPX uses a 1000-BX SERDES interface, a PHY conversion must be completed in


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This Hybrid 3U 8-slot VME64x/VPX backplane is compliant to the VITA 46.0 baseline specification. It offers 8 slots of VME and VPX with a full mesh X4 configuration for PCI Express.

Š2012 Themis Computer. All rights reserved. Themis Computer, Themis and the Themis logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Themis Computer. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Untitled-4 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 36

5/9/12 10:29:48 AM

Figure 5

Elmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VPX Hybrid Backplane has 5 mesh slots and 2 legacy VME64x slots. It features a 16-layer controlled impedance stripline design and provides RTM support.


order to interconnect the Ethernet interfaces. This can be done on an active interface module, which is created in order to break out I/O. This conversion can be placed onto that module. The hybrid backplane must be laid out to make the connections from the P0 pins in the VITA 31.1 slot to the designated user-defined pins on the AIM module. Figure 3 meanwhile shows an example of a hybrid

system at the opposite extreme. It shows a more advanced approach with the VXS/ VME slot wired by the hybrid backplane to both an OpenVPX payload slot and a switch slot, using different communication protocols.

Hybrid Backplane Solutions With VPX—and the more rigorously defined OpenVPX—firmly established

at this point, there’s a whole ecosystem of products to feed the demand for hybrid VME/VPX designs. An example is Hartmann Electronic’s Hybrid 3U 8-slot VME64x/VPX backplane (Figure 4). Compliant to the VITA 46.0 baseline specification, the unit supports VITA 46.1 VME and VITA 46.4 PCI Express. It offers 8 slots of VME and VPX with a full mesh X4 configuration for PCI Express. M4 studs are provided for power entry, and the product provides a JTAG connector on the first and last slot. Operating temperature is -40° to +85°C, with a storage temperature of -55° to +85°C. Dawn’s Hybrid VME64x/VPX backplane, the VPX-6053, meanwhile is designed to offer a natural migratory development environment and path for upgrading systems to the latest VPX technology. This backplane allows for plug-in of both legacy or VME64x boards and VPX boards into the same backplane. It fits any Eurocard packaging standardbased card cage as it meets the form factor and mounting provisions called out in the VITA specification. This 6U 5-slot Hybrid VME64x/VPX development backplane has 2 slots of VME64x on .8inch pitch and 3 slots of VPX on 1-inch pitch with TM connectors on one backplane. Based on a 22-layer, stripline/differential signal design, the backplane has transition module connectors provided at all rear slots. The backplane may be partially populated for cost savings. Its extremely rigid construction eliminates the need for stiffeners.

Flexible Interconnect Scheme Elma Electronic’s hybrid offering is its VPX Hybrid Backplane with 5 mesh slots and 2 legacy VME64x slots. The 5+2 slot OpenVPX Hybrid Backplane features a 16-layer controlled impedance stripline design. The backplane provides RTM support. Bustronic offers other VPX configurations in a 3U 6-slot, 6U 5-slot, 6U 17-slot Hybrid and has developed a wealth of custom configurations. Offering a highly f lexible interconnect scheme that can support either differential or single ended connections, the product supports redundant meshes, pipeline topologies and Untitled-4 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 38

2/16/11 9:51:50 AM


• Systems tailored to your requirements • Built tough for extended system deployments • Designed-to-meet and certified MIL-STD-810 systems • 5-year factory warranty for Trenton SBCs, motherboards and backplanes • Standard and custom boards with BIOS revision control • COTS hardware maximizes system flexibility • Key industry partnerships enable advanced turnkey solutions


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cluster computing. It provides built-in ESD ground protection in every slot. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions attacks the hybrid VPX/VME challenge through its custom backplane design service. It’s Hybricon brand engineered packaging backplane and midplane solutions support all of the major embedded computing bus architectures including OpenVPX, VPX-REDI, VPX,

CompactPCI, VME, VME64x, VXS, MicroTCA. The product line supports hybrid backplanes with two or more of those bus architectures, high-speed switch fabrics to >10 Gbaud, custom buses and custom I/O panel CCAs. Its custom backplane solutions can include rear transition connectors for mid-plane applications using RTMs. They also offer chassis-level solutions with standard or

MIL-STD-1553 & ARINC Interfaces Interface for USB Portable Versatile Indispensable

custom backplanes, as well as integrated enclosures including payload. An example configuration that Curtiss-Wright has designed before includes a 6U 13-slot VPX-VME64x backplane. It supports VPX (VITA 46/48/65/68) and VME64x. SIE Computing Solutions addresses the hybrid question up front in the design process with its 522 VPX Series Development / Test Station. Designed with the development engineer in mind, the 522 VPX Series incorporates the flexibility of hybrid architectures in the form of 5 VPX mesh slots and 2 conventional VME64X slots for legacy applications with unobstructed accessibility to cards under test for probe access with intelligent system monitoring capabilities. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. Dawn VME Products Fremont, CA. (510) 657-4444. []. Elma Electronic Systems Fremont, CA. (510) 656-3400. []. Hartmann Electronic Springfield, OH. (937) 324-4422. [].

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Military Batteries and Power Converters

Mil Batteries and Power Supplies Advance Their Game Military systems can be as impressive and functional as ever, but without power they’re useless. Battery and power supply technologies continue to advance their solutions to feed the ever power hungry requirements of today’s defense systems. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


oday the choice of power supplies, power converters and batteries can rank as a make or break decision in embedded military computer systems. With more and more computing stuffed into smaller spaces, power has direct implications on the size, cooling and mobility of a system. Military programs—land, sea and air—are all in some way dependent on technology trends affecting military batteries, DC/DC converters, power supply module bricks and slot-card power supplies. Starting on the battery side, vendors continue to advance their power densities both with new chemistry innovations and by refining their existing processes. Lithium-ion for its part remains the favorite choice for today’s computingbased systems. Along those lines, Saft’s advanced Li-ion energy storage system will support the technology development phase of the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. As a member of the BAE Systems GCV team, which has been awarded a contract for the initial phase of the program, Saft has entered into an agreement to design and build ultra-high-power batteries for the vehicle’s hybrid electric drive system.

Battery System for the GCV Comprised of ultra-high-power, highvoltage VL 5U cells, the Li-ion energy 42

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 1

The MIL Power PAC 500W power supply provides output voltages (up to four) at 3.3V, 5.0V, +12V, +/- 15V, or 28V. Military standards support includes MIL-STD-1399, MIL-STD-704 and MIL-STD-461. storage system will support the vehicle’s hybrid electric drive system when it is not relying on traditional carbon-based fuels; an example of an operation that would utilize this technology would be silent watch missions. In addition, the system will provide thermal management and act as a high-power traction motor battery. The technology development phase of the GCV

program is a 24-month program aimed at completing preliminary design reviews in order to begin building prototype systems for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. Saft’s contribution of an ultra-high-power energy storage system will allow BAE Systems to prove the advantages of Li-ion technology in this hybrid electric vehicle.

Shock and Awe: 2 Wh of energy in batteries this small.

Military & Aerospace Applications: • rocket & missile guidance • smart ammunition • torpedoes & mines • sonobuoys • ground sensors • artillery fuses • active decoy systems • trajectory correction add-on kits • bomb proximity fuses • dispersed munitions sensors Commercial Applications: • medical devices • back-up systems • automotive • marine/oceanographic

Smart munitions need smart batteries: TLM military grade high-energy batteries. Unlike reserve and thermal batteries, TLM cells require no squibs or thermal insulation, yet deliver 2Wh of energy and handle 15A high current pulses (5A continuous). These rugged little warriors also feature incredibly long life and high survivability, and are fully compliant with MIL-STD 810G for shock, vibration, acceleration (50,000 gn), and spin (30,000 rpm). Let us shock and awe you with our low COTS pricing.

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Another direction of battery innovation is the drive to power-dense portable solutions. Feeding that need, Contour Energy Systems earlier this year signed a technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel, a strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. This strategic partnership between Contour Energy Systems and IQT will advance portable power solutions for various terrestrial and emerging applications. IQT’s strategic investment in Contour Energy Systems provides funding for new battery developments that are directly applicable to current application power requirements at many U.S. government agencies. Contour’s advanced lithium/carbon fluoride battery technology has a gravimetric energy density twice that of either sulfur dioxide or manganese dioxide. This is significant for military applications because by doubling the energy density, the weight of a battery pack needed for a mission of a given duration can be cut in half, or the same size and weight in battery packs could double the mission’s duration. An example of AA-sized battery technology aimed directly at military/aerospace is Tadiran’s high-voltage/high-rate AA-sized lithium battery, the TLM 1550. Packing 2Wh of energy at 4.0 volts into an AA-size cell, the TLM 1550 is specifically designed for applications requiring high power, long life and extended storage, such as military/aerospace systems. The AA-sized TLM 1550 features an open circuit voltage of 4.0 volt, and the ability to handle pulses of up to 15A, with 5A maximum continuous load. The TLM offers very long life in extreme environmental conditions, including a self-discharge rate of less than 3% per year at room temperature, and a temperature range of (-40° to +85°C). Tadiran’s TLM 1550 battery is also extremely safe, as its solvents are non-toxic and non-pressurized and its anode material is less reactive than that found in other lithium cells. The battery has performed well in a variety of safety tests, including nail penetration, crush tests, high-temperature chambers, short circuit and charge tests. 44

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 2

The Raptor Series of military power supplies offer an extended output voltage range to provide DC outputs from 12 VDC to 52.5 VDC with power ratings from 1200W to 1800W. Parallel capability and other power levels are also available. Single and three-phase input ranges span from 88 VAC to 265 VAC or 125 VDC to 400 VDC.

Robust Power Convertor Solutions Shifting to the power supply and power convertor side of the equation, power system vendors continue to step up with more efficient products, new partitioning strategies and increased ruggedization. Choosing power supplies and power conversion electronics can become make or break technical choices because power supplies and converters are critical enablers for meeting today’s rugged requirements. Vendors like ATC Power Systems not only make military modules but offer entire power systems for the military programs. An example of ATC’s offerings is its new MIL Power PAC power supply (Figure 1). The unit provides an output power of 500W. Its output voltages (up to four) can be 3.3V, 5.0V, +12V, +/- 15V, or 28V. Output features include current limit / short circuit protection, droop compensation for ease of paralleling and precision clamp output overvoltage protection. It can be configured for output redundancy operation and all

outputs can be independent (no minimum load required) and synchronized to a master clock. Efficiencies of over 75 percent are achieved with PFC and ORing diodes. For input voltage, the supply supports 103.5 VAC to 126 VAC at 160 Hz per MIL-STD-1399 and 108 VAC to 118 VAC at 1400 Hz per MIL-STD-704. 180 to 425 VDC is supported over single or 3 phase inputs. Military standards support includes MIL-STD-1399, MIL-STD-704 and MIL-STD-461. The MIL Power PAC supply comes in three mechanical versions. The first is a VME 6U card slot supply in forced aircooled version. The second is the same but with “D” style connectors on the input and output. The last type is a conduction-cooled version—no fins and thick baseplate—with “D” style connectors on the input and output. ATC can also customize for any application depending on customers’ requirements. ATC currently sells a similar type of (forced air-cooled) unit to the U.S. Navy that is used on submarines and aircraft carriers. Cooling is an issue at high power dissipation levels. Targeting that issue, TDI Power offers its patent pending LiquaCore power management technology. It employs liquid cooling in a modular and scalable architecture. The technology uses a cold plate to wrap the electronics with cooling liquid in a sealed package that enables efficient management of waste heat at very high power densities. The cooling liquid employed is either water or a mixture of water and ethylene glycol (anti-freeze). As part of their power management technology, TDI Power has developed a DC/AC Inverter that boasts 95% efficiency and has an MTBF of more than 80,000 hours per MIL-HDBK 217. With a power density exceeding 33W/ in3, TDI Power can easily create a modular solution for higher power needs. The inverter can also be used as a standalone single-phase inverter or as a single phase in a multiphase system. It is ideal for harsh environment vehicular applications.

Rugged Power Supplies Rugged operation is a key differentiator for military power supplies. Last month Schaefer announced broadened


capabilities for their Raptor Series (Figure 2) of military power supplies. The supplies are designed for harsh military applications such as shelters, armored vehicles, avionics, naval and open air applications. The Raptor’s output voltage range is now extended to provide DC outputs from 12 VDC to 52.5 VDC with power ratings from 1200W to 1800W. Parallel capability and other power levels are also available. Single and three-phase input ranges span from 88 VAC to 265 VAC or 125 VDC to 400 VDC. The series specifies high efficiency (85% nominal) and high power factor correction. The series meets MIL-STD-810D for operating temperature conditions, vibration and shock, and also meets other critical MIL-STD-461 ratings for EMI, navy MIL-STD-1399 and aircraft electrical power MIL-STD-704D, and environmental test methods. A variety of optional protection features include CARC, dark out switches, alarm/controls, auto temperature derating, overvoltage protection and reverse polarity protection.

Navy UPS Solution One area where battery and power supply technologies overlap is in the area of Uninterruptible Power Supplies. UPSs are critical for military systems where a power outage can disrupt a mission. Late last year, Acumentrics, working with Earl Industries, modified an existing RuggedUPS to power a vertically mounted voicedata-video (VDV) network node for the Ford Class Aircraft Carrier (Figure 3). According to Acumentrics, while the company has fielded many shipboard UPS systems, the specifications for the VDV contract required significant modifications. After implementation of the adaptations, the newly designed unit was successfully tested and certified to MIL-STD-1399 and MIL-STD-461. Physically, it had to conform seamlessly to the overall system and into a shock mount enclosure. The battery also needed to be user replaceable from the vertical orientation when the enclosure was in the “rack out” position. In terms of changing internal components, the inverter portion of the Rugged-UPS had to be integrated between the server and modem. This

Figure 3

Artist’s depiction of the next generation supercarrier CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford. The lead ship of her class, the carrier is reportedly 75 percent complete and scheduled for launch in 2013 and delivery in 2015.

Figure 4

Falcon Electric added a ruggedized wide temperature (-30° to 63°C) extended runtime battery bank option to its SSG and SSG-RP UPS products. The new battery pack gives users over 10 times the battery runtime, compared to the standard 2U battery pack option. was accomplished through two alterations. First, the team developed a 1U battery pack that would mount in the vertical position. Next, they re-

designed the chassis to eliminate the space of the existing battery compartment to save room and provide cabling and connectors to tie into the sepaMay 2012 | COTS Journal



rate battery pack. Other features were added including multiple AC inputs for redundancy. In another example of UPS technology innovation, Falcon Electric recently added a ruggedized wide temperature (-30° to 63°C) extended runtime battery bank option to its popular SSG and SSGRP UPS products (Figure 4). The widetemperature-rated batteries provide long back-up runtimes for protecting con-

nected computers and instrumentation operating in harsh environments during a prolonged power outage. The new battery pack gives users over 10 times the battery runtime, compared to Falconâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standard 2U extended battery pack option. The new battery bank carries a UL listing when powering Falconâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique UL-listed SSG2.5KRP-1. UL is pending for the remaining models in the SSG and SSG-RP Series wide-temperature-rated


UPS product line. The SSGB-1S40-5U 40AH battery bank is a rugged battery option that consists of eight deep cycle, valve regulated lead-acid, maintenancefree 40 amp hour batteries and two internal one amp chargers. The batteries and chargers are housed in a sleek rackmount enclosure, which takes only 5U (8.75 inches) of vertical rack space. The battery banks may be interconnected or â&#x20AC;&#x153;daisy chainedâ&#x20AC;? to provide exceptionally long battery runtimes and can be easily added in the field after the SSG units are installed and in service. ATC Power Systems Merrimack, NH. (603) 429.0391. []. Acumentrics Westwood, MA. (781) 461-8251. []. Contour Energy Systems Azusa, CA. (626) 610-0660. []. Falcon Electric Irwindale, CA. (626) 962-7770. [].

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Saft America Cockeysville, MD. (410) 771-3200. [].




Technology For: Communication Industrial Instrumentation Medical Military Scientific Transportation


Tadiran Lake Success, NY. (516) 621-4980. []. 2SHQ6WDQGDUGV2SHQ0DUNHWV

Untitled-9 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 46

Schaefer Hopkinton, MA. (508) 436-6400. [].

4/9/12 10:05:38 AM

TDI Power Hackettstown, NJ. (908) 850-5088. [].

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Military Batteries and Power Converters

Thermal Management: Key to Designing for Harsh Environments Today’s high-power dissipating electronics in military systems are challenged more than ever to remove the heat and control thermal conditions. That means applying the most effective thermal management hardware to ruggedized systems. Dennis Scott, Thermal Solutions Manager Noren Products


uggedized products are rapidly becoming the preferred choice over so-called rugged products—and with good reason. Both rugged and ruggedized equipment provide protection from the rigors and hazards experienced during ground-based, airborne, or shipboard military deployments. The process from design to manufacture is what differentiates ruggedized from rugged, which refers to a system that has been designed and built from the ground up to deal with a specific hazard or harsh environment. Ruggedized refers to a system that uses commercially available components and modifies them for severe deployment. Given today’s military missions, especially the demanding terrain and environment of deployments like Afghanistan, the ruggedized product can use already-tested technology and cost-effective production in high volumes. The economics of the process cannot be understated. Reduced military spending is the likely result of an intense focus on deficit reduction, meaning that the costs for any product will be highly scrutinized. This fiscal environment will not lessen the military’s requirement for delivery of robust electronics to meet specifications in the most economical package available. As daunting a challenge 48

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 1

A challenging aspect of UAV system design is that airborne UAVs have different thermal requirements than when they are on the ground. as cost-reduction is, an even greater challenge lies in the ruggedizing process itself: the modification of commercial products to make them more reliable, compact and lightweight, yet capable of withstanding the

rigors of a severe environment. Technology offers some efficient solutions particularly in the areas of energy transformation and use, but thermal management of heat generated by advanced power operations, smaller foot-

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Figure 2

Managing heat requires an understanding of three basic heat concepts: spreading, movement and dissipation. The implementation shown here shows three phase change concepts in one: input pad, heat pipe and heat sink.

Figure 3

Shown here is a variety of heat pipes some with finned sections for heat dissipation. prints and lighter weight materials that are not thermally conductive, is still among the biggest ruggedizing challenges.

Thermal Management and the Military When it comes to electronics applications, one of the major challenges, regard50

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less of military or civilian use, is always to reduce the effects of heat from excess energy, which is damaging if uncontrolled. In fact, the challenge increases exponentially for COTS military products that must consistently function in extreme heat or cold conditionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;sometimes both in a 24-hour period as is often the case in climate con-


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Figure 4

Heat pipes can be built in various lengths. Because they are a passive solution they require no additional energy to function. ditions such as Afghanistan or in fighter aircraft. However, there is more to thermal management than protecting the product from external temperatures. Sandy terrain, airborne dust and vibrations are constant threats to the product’s functional capabilities. At the same time, the military has made it clear to designers that limited bandwidth will be unacceptable for any COTS product—another major challenge since components enabling larger bandwidth generally emit more internal excess energy. Thermal management’s traditional role has been to remove heat at the source within the product and let it dissipate into the environment, thereby reducing the threat of potential malfunctions. A February 2012 article by David O’Mara in EE Times emphasized the planning and use of new technologies to meet specifications. “Making early choices about power dissipation, design layouts (and) paths for air flow becomes essential to developing rugged systems suitable for mission critical military environments,” O’Mara wrote. The same applies to the ruggedized application. Thermal management’s task is somewhat daunting due to the growing numbers

of high-tech applications that require more complex heat management systems. Consider the increasing use of UAVs. The military needs highly sophisticated and computerized engines and equipment to ensure reliable and successful UAV operations. Frequently, airborne UAVs have different thermal requirements than when they are on the ground (Figure 1). Also with UAVs, it is critical to extend operational time in the air as much as practical. It is not efficient to require large amounts of energy just to provide cooling, yet the systems that cool them may not be the most efficient to serve both ground and airborne conditions. That’s where green technology for COTS comes into play. The goal is to take that excess energy at its most efficient state and manage it to maximize mission and product life—a perfect illustration of green energy. In fact, that is precisely what is happening with technological advancements that are being applied to ruggedized off-the-shelf military products.

Thermal Management Options A commercial product’s transition to ruggedized requires more than thermal management, minimizing the size and shape, and



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sealing product internals from the outside environment such as sand or debris. Designers also examine the potential for reduction of weight through the use of tough, durable and non-thermally conductive material. Thermal management is always specific to the details of the individual application and can often times be considered a “differentiator.” The battlefield today requires energy resources that are limited. Successful, efficient use of that energy may mean the difference between operational success and failure. Proper thermal management not only impacts initial cost and performance, but also factors into product reliability and mission success. There are plenty of reasons besides profit for companies to develop these differentiators. One is the most obvious: the ongoing effort to efficiently cool overheating LEDs—a common concern for just about every military application that has an onboard computer, radio, a technologically advanced firing device or night-vision equipment. Heat management may include liquid cooling or thermoelectric coolers that can be fabricated to enable heat removal regardless of the size of the components.

Untitled-7 1 COTS Journal | May 2012 54

Three Heat Concepts Managing heat requires an understanding of three basic heat concepts: spreading, movement and dissipation—all acceptable but more effective when combined with sophisticated approaches that offer enhanced energy control for the military product (Figure 2). One of the best examples is the spreader plate of aluminum, copper or diamond that can be a solid conductor. Spreading heat entails heat movement from a concentrated or high heat flux source to a secondary exchanger or surface where the heat flux density is less. Reduced density means the secondary exchanger can typically be produced from less expensive materials. Moving heat transfers high temperature thermal energy to a second object at lower temperatures. This transfer can occur through radiation, conduction, or convection. Transfer methods may include moving heat through a fluid, moving through thermally conductive solid materials or moving the energy through phase change materials. Regardless of how the heat is moved, there must be sufficient amounts transferred to an area

where the heat can be dissipated or collected for repurposing. Heat dissipation is the most frequent thermal management choice particularly for extremely sensitive computerized components. In this case, the heat is simply dispersed into the air or water. Heat dispersal does not occur at a standard rate and varies dependent upon the amount of friction the heat generates. Ruggedizing from COTS components usually takes more than one of these concepts to effectively manage the heat. All three concepts must be employed for efficient and successful thermal management. Heat pipes have long been viewed as important cooling components for spreading and transferring heat in COTS components (Figure 3). They have substantially higher thermal conductivities than do solid materials, up to thousands of times more than copper. Heat pipes use phase change from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid. In this process, heat applied at the surface will cause the liquid inside the pipe to boil and pick up latent heat of vaporization only to move to a colder location within the pipe. The latent heat of vaporization of the fluid

4/26/12 11:03:44 AM


within the heat pipe is the core of phasechange technology in which thermal energy is absorbed during the evaporator cycle and released in the condenser cycle—another example of efficient heat reduction that can be modified to suit the application. Despite their complexity, heat pipes can be built in various lengths (Figure 4) and have long been accepted for military applications due to their proven reliability—a major requirement for all ruggedized products. In addition, heat pipes are a passive solution and require no additional energy to function.

Thermal Management Success Story No one denies that heat management is the biggest challenge in the modifying and ruggedizing process. Parvus, a major provider of COTS mobile routers and embedded computer systems for military and aerospace functions, reported a breakthrough in thermal management in its development of cockpit computer subsystems for U.S. Navy tactical aircraft. According to a June 2011 article posted on, engineers had to assure heat transition through

the “stagnant air inside the main subsystem chassis, the air between the main chassis and the air transport rack aluminum chassis, and the ambient air.” The problem was resolved through the use of conduction cooling where it could be best applied and “heat direct conduction links to ambient air.” Engineers achieved the imperative of keeping thermal resistance to ambient air as low as possible to ensure optimal performance. In an October 2011 article in Power Electronics Technology, Parvus engineers, Jared Francom and Dave Turner, described the resolution of a thermal management issue for a mission computer system through use of a COTS dual-core subsystem to be fitted “with an optimized heat pipe/heat spreader plate as the default configuration to maximize application robustness.” The writers predict a continuing evolution of subsystems concurrent with the neverending challenge of efficient heat management. “Because of ever increasing processor speeds, advances in thermal management will continue to rank as one of the most important trends in rugged computer design,” wrote Francom and Turner.

Their prediction is clearly accurate and the challenge has to be met if the COTS industry continues to be a resource for the military. Growing demands for sophisticated and durable computerized capabilities in the harshest of environments has already led to a greater focus by the Defense Department on efficient thermal management capabilities that will ensure the reliability essential to complete the mission. At the same time, COTS contractors and vendors will have to meet specifications with a cost-conscious and cost-effective deliverable given the inevitability of reduced defense outlays for purchases. Increasing capabilities of advanced thermal management technologies are helping to control costs and, most important, assure that the product will perform its task when needed most, dissipating the internal heat from the product in the most efficient manner possible. Noren Products Menlo Park, CA. (650) 322-9500. [].

The CSB1725e-DiscoDuo, designed, developed and manufactor manufactored by Cogent Computer Systems Inc., Is a high performance, network oriented ARMv5TE based System on performanc (SOM). Marvell’s MV78200 provides a small, a Module (S and flexible engine for embedded Linux based powerful an 10/100/1000 networking and storage applications. 10/100/100


Industrial Temperature 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports Dual SATA 6 Lanes of PCI Express

For Info, contact SALES@COGCOMP.COM

Untitled-20 1

5/2/12 2:17:37 PM May 2012 | COTS Journal 55


FPGA Boards Crank Up Their Processing Muscle There are many military applications such as radar, SIGINT and software radio where the appetite for FPGA processing is almost infinite. Fortunately, board vendors continue to come through with products tuned to do signal processing and data movement. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


ong gone are the days when FPGAs were relegated to use as simple interface logic between other more important silicon like processors and memory. Today FPGAs are now complete systems on a chip. The high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors even have general-purpose CPU cores on them. And the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are example FPGAs that have redefined an FPGA as a complete processing engine in its own right. Using those FPGAs, board-level subsystems are able to quickly acquire and process massive amounts of data in real time. As the signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, they’ve become key enablers for waveform-intensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. Faster FPGA-based DSP capabilities combined with an expanding array of IP cores and development tools for FPGAs are enabling new system architectures. Boardlevel product developers continue to exploit those FPGA advances to create powerful compute engines that perform signal 56

COTS Journal | May 2012

Figure 1

Hosted on a MQ-9 Reaper UAV, each Gorgon Stare orbit provides uninterrupted, 24/7 visible and IR coverage of city-sized areas, providing real-time motion video directly to theater and tactical forces engaged in operations. processing computation on the FPGAs themselves. At the same time, FPGAs are enabling a new class of I/O board solution that enables users to customize their I/O as well as do I/O-specific processing functions. The product roundup here shows a representative sample of FPGA processing boards on a variety of embedded form factors—including PMC, PCI Express, XMC, VME/VXS, VPX, CompactPCI and FMC. System developers can now use FPGA chips and boards to build radar receiver systems with a higher instantaneous bandwidth thanks to the converters, and can handle the corresponding increase in compute power required to process the received data streams. An example program that relies heavily on FPGA processing is the U.S. Air Force’s Gorgon Stare Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance System. Gorgon Stare (GS), developed by the Sierra Nevada led industry

team under the USAF/Big Safari rapid acquisition program, has been flying operational missions since April 2011. Hosted on a USAF/General Atomics long-dwell MQ-9 Reaper UAV (Figure 1), each GS orbit provides uninterrupted, 24/7 visible and IR coverage of city-sized areas, providing realtime motion video directly to theater and tactical forces engaged in operations. In addition to its primary tactical consumers, this system also provides these products in near real time to the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) enterprise for unprecedentedly rapid exploitation and time-sensitive forensic analysis support. The entire mission data set, which is recorded on board the aircraft in machine-lossless format, is provided post-mission for live, long-term archiving and discovery, and additional current exploitation.

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: FPGA Processing Boards Roundup PMC Modules Do Cost-Effective FPGA Processing

OpenVPX Board Sports Three FPGAs and PowerPC CPU

A set of PMC mezzanine modules features the cost-optimized Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA. The PMC-SLX reconfigurable FPGA modules from Acromag can save thousands of dollars, yet still deliver high-performance computing for algorithm acceleration and custom logic processing tasks. Spartan-6 FPGAs have integrated logic, DSP and memory resources that leverage the flagship Virtex-6 FPGA

Defense applications such as radar, SIGINT, software radio, image processing and encryption all have something in common: they all have big appetite for FPGA-based processing. Serving those needs, Annapolis Micro Systems offers its WILDSTAR 6 OpenVPX Card, with up to three Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGAs and one MACC 460Ex PowerPC. The FPGAs can be XC6VLX240T, LX365T, LX550T,

platform’s architecture and system-level blocks for quicker and smoother system development. Acromag adds a high-throughput PCI-X interface, large memory banks and easy access to field I/O signals to deliver a ready-to-use FPGA computing module for advanced signal processing applications. All models employ the logic-optimized SLX150 version of the Spartan-6 FPGA, which provides 147,433 logic cells and 180 DSP slices. Dual-ported SRAM (256k or 1M x 64-bit) facilitates high-speed DMA transfers to the bus or CPU. Acromag’s Engineering Design Kit provides utilities to help users develop custom programs, load VHDL into the FPGA, and establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and the CPU. The kit includes a compiled FPGA file and example VHDL code provided as selectable blocks with examples for the local bus interface, read/ writes and change-of-state interrupts to the PCI bus. A JTAG interface allows users to perform onboard VHDL simulation. Further analysis is supported with a ChipScope Pro interface. The base price is just $2,895 with extra memory and extended temperature options available.

SX315T, or SX475T versions of the Virtex 6. The board provides up to 3.1 Gbytes of DDR2 DRAM, 3.1 Gbytes of DDR3 DRAM or 192 Mbytes of DDRII+ or QDRII SRAM in 5 or 6 memory banks for the computational FPGA on board. Meanwhile up to a board total of 4 Gbytes DDR2 DRAM, 4 Gbytes DDR3 DRAM or 256 Mbytes DDRII+ or QDRII SRAM is arranged in 4 memory banks for each of two I/O FPGAs on board. The host AMCC 460EX PowerPC has clock speeds up to 1 GHz and 512 Mbytes of its own dedicated DRAM. Flash on board consists of 64 Mbyte NOR flash in addition to 4 Gbytes of NAND flash to store FPGA images and for application data. A 4X PCI Express Gen 1 link connects the PowerPC and PCI controller. Host software includes Linux, VxWorks APIs and device drivers. A full CoreFire Board Support Package provides fast and easy application development. Open VHDL Models including Source Code is available for hardware interfaces and chip scope access. An Open VHDL IP package supports communication interfaces. Application software can access current, voltage and temperature monitoring sensors via API software interface. The board accepts standard Annapolis WILDSTAR 4 / 5 / 6 Family I/O modules. The card has an integrated heat sink and full IPMI chassis management support.

Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. [].

Annapolis Micro Systems Inc Annapolis, MD. (410) 841-2514. [].


COTS Journal | May 2012

3U VPX Card with Co-Processor FPGA FMC Provides Powerful Combo BittWare’s S4-3U-VPX (S43X) is a commercial or rugged 3U VPX card based on the high-density, low-power Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA. The Stratix IV GX is designed specifically for serial I/O-based applications, creating a completely flexible, reconfigurable VPX board. BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork

and the FINe Host/Control Bridge greatly simplify application development and integration of this powerful board. The board provides a configurable 25-port SerDes interface supporting a variety of protocols, including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and 10 GigE. The board also features 10/100/1000 Ethernet, and up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM. Providing enhanced flexibility is the VITA 57-compliant FMC site, which supports 10 SerDes, 60 LVDS pairs and 6 clocks. A debug utility header provides 10/100 Ethernet, RS-232 and a JTAG port for debug support. The rear panel VPX interface includes GigE to the FINe, and 15 SerDes channels and 32 LVDS pairs (16 in, 16 out) to the Stratix IV GX FPGA. The board can use the AAFM, a VITA-57 FPGA Mezzanine Card based on BittWare’s Anemone104 (AN104) floating point coprocesssor for FPGAs. Featuring the Epiphany architecture from Adapteva, the Anemone allows users to combine the complex processing ability of a floating point C-programmable compute engine with the versatility and configurability of an FPGA to offer a completely new approach to floating point digital signal processing. Featuring four Anemone processors, the AAFM provides 96 GFLOPS of total processing performance.

BittWare Concord, NH. (603) 226-0404. [].


VITA 46/VITA 48 Board Features Dual Virtex-6 FPGAs

3U VPX Virtex-6 FPGA Processing VITA 57 FMC Front-End

Upgraded Video Compression XMC Enhances Military Decisions

FPGAs have caused a true revolution in military embedded processing. The latest version 6 of the Xilinx Virtex line is feeding that flame. Riding that wave, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions has announced the CHAMP-FX3, the first rugged, highperformance FPGA OpenVPX 6U VPX board that features dual Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs.

VPX and FMC are two of the fastest growing new embedded computer form factors, and the military has its eye on both. Hitting both of those trends, Elma Electronic offers the TIC-FEP-VPX3b, an FPGA-based 3U VPX front-end processing board that provides an FMC site coupled to a large capacity Virtex-6 FPGA for extremely flexible I/O. Designed for digital signal processing (DSP), the versatile

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced an enhanced version of the ICS-8580 rugged, high definition video compression XMC module. Designed in response to the growing use of video in a broad range of defense applications, it allows very high quality moving images to be captured, transmitted and stored at very high speed with very low latency and with

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TIC-FEP-VPX3b is ideal for applications such Available in both conduction-cooled and airminimal consumption of precious bandwidth companies providing solutions now as radar, sonar, electronic warfare, imaging and cooled versions, the CHAMP-FX3 provides or disk space. As such, it can make a significant Get Connected is a new for further communications. Theresource new board offersexploration highdense FPGA resources combined with general contribution to superior decision making and technologies companies. Whether yourI/O goal improved troop safety. performance logic, and increased SerDes-based purpose processing, I/O flexibility and support into products, the latest datasheet a company, and powerful DSP slicefrom resources thatspeak helpdirectly meet for multi-processing applications. It speeds is to research The ICS-8580 can capture video inputs with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the higher bandwidth and performance demands, and simplifies the integration of advanced and archive or stream them over Ethernet, goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. while utilizing up to 25% less power. digital signal and image processing into managing multiple streams and performing Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, Supported by low-power and high-speed GTX embedded systems designed for demanding capture, manipulation, conversion, Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products transceivers at rates up to 6.5 Gbits/s, the board Radar Processing, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), compression, storage, decompression and you are searching for. enables the application of interfaces used in ISR, Image Processing and Electronic Warfare video display. Its rugged XMC form factor today’s embedded systems. Onboard PCIe Gen applications. means that it is compact, lightweight and 1 and Gen 2 protocols, via a hard IP block and The CHAMP-FX3 combines the dense consumes little power, enabling it to be easily Ethernet MAC blocks, allow PCIe x4 and GbE processing resources of two large Xilinx deployed in systems destined for deployment interfaces to be implemented from the FPGA Virtex-6 FPGAs (SX475T or LX550T) with a in harsh environments that are constrained to form data and control planes respectively. powerful AltiVec-enabled dual-core Freescale by size, weight and power (SWaP). The Built to the VPX specifications, the TIC-FEPPower Architecture MPC8640D processor ICS-8580 features H.264 video compression/ VPX3b includes four 4-lane fabric on the providing on a rugged 6U OpenVPX-compatible (VITA Get Connected decompression (codec) technology, which is with technology andports companies solutions now P1, connected by GTX transceivers to the main 65) form factor module. The CHAMP-FX3 widely regarded as being the optimum solution: Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research th FPGA. Featuring an onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 complements this processing capability it is considered to be up to 3x as efficient as datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect FPGA, the board comes with two banks of 40-bit with a rich assortment of rear-panel I/O andin touch with other codectype solutions, allowing vital image the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever of technology, 1.25 Gbyte DDR3 memory with rates memories, including a Serial RapidIO (SRIO)tosearching be retained Get Connected will help you connect with the transfer companies and productsdetail you are for. while occupying the of 7.5 Gbits/s and a Spartan-6 control node, based switching fabric, 16 high-speed serial minimum possible bandwidth or storage. used to load logic images into the main FPGA. links per FPGA and 20 pairs of LVDS links GE Intelligent Platforms The Spartan-6 control node enables “on the to the backplane that can be used to support Charlottesville, VA. fly” bitstream management for dynamic FPGA high-speed parallel interface such as Camera (800) 368-2738. configuration. Other resources include zero bus Link. For system expansion, the board also turnaround (ZBT) SRAM with a throughput of provides two FMC sites (or a single FMC/ []. 400 Mbyte/s for expedited read/write processing. VITA 57 site) and a PCI Express (VITA 42.3) The board comes in three environmental grades: or Serial RapidIO (VITA 42.2) XMC site. The standard, rugged and conduction-cooled. FMC sites have been enhanced to support the Pricing for the TIC-FEP-VPX3b depends on next generation of FMC cards with 80 pairs of the choice of Xilinx FPGAs and environmental differential signals. Early Access Units will be grade. The board is currently shipping. available in Q1 2011.


Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Elma Electronic Systems Ashburn, VA. CA. Get Connected with Fremont, companies and products featured in this section. (703) 779-7800. (510) 656-3400. []. [].

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XMC Blends 1 GSPS ADCs and DACs with Virtex-6 FPGAs

6U OpenVPX Board Sports Three Virtex-6 FPGAs

PCI Express Net Processing Card Uses Altera Stratix V FPGA

At today’s level of semiconductor integration, computer data conversion signal processing subsystems can be squeezed onto a single mezzanine card. Along just those lines, Innovative Integration has announced the X6-1000M. The X6-1000M integrates highspeed digitizing and signal generation with signal processing on a PMC/XMC IO module for demanding DSP applications. The tight

The Echotek Series SCFE-V6-4QSFP-OVPX is a new 6U OpenVPX fiber I/O module from Mercury Computer Systems. It combines 16 channels of high-speed fiber with three powerful Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA processors. With a maximum data transfer capacity of 80 Gbit/s, the new module is well suited to supporting the high bandwidth digitized I/O generated by the current generation of advanced

Nallatech has announced the availability of the PCIe-385N. This FPGA network processing card delivers Altera Stratix V Series performance with PCI Express 8-lane Gen3 bandwidth in a “low-profile” half-height, halflength PCIe card. The card’s simple architecture is ideally suited to real-time network processing and algorithm-acceleration applications. The board supports several FPGAs within Altera’s latest Stratix V family. A PCIe Gen3 8-lane bus

coupling of analog I/O to the Virtex-6 FPGA ISR sensors, as well as accepting unrelenting core dramatically simplifies SDR, radar and streams of data packets from all forms of digital ploration lidar implementations. The board features two, communications. your goal 12-bit 1 Gsample/s A/Ds and four 1 Gsample/s Each of the 16 channels of fiber supports a k directly 16-bit DACs. Analog input bandwidth of over full duplex data rate of up to 5 Gbit/s, while the age, the 2 GHz supports wideband applications and three FPGAs enable onboard pre-processing source. RF undersampling. The DACs have features of data streams for maximum application ology, for interpolation and coarse mixing for efficiency. The module has a Serial RapidIO d products upconversion. backplane connection for communication with A Xilinx Virtex-6 SX315T (LX240T and other subsystem modules. The board has four d SX475T options) with four banks of 1 Gbyte QSFP cages and connectors per OpenVPX slot DRAM provides a very high-performance via two IOM-QSFP-FMC Optical Interface DSP core with over 2000 MACs (SX315T). The FMCs. SFPDP protocol support is provided close integration of the analog I/O, memory along with subset components provided for and host interface with the FPGA enables VITA-49 Digital IF development. The modular real-time signal processing at extremely high approach allows for the exchange of fiber rates. The X6-1000M power consumption is media without baseboard removal. FMC HPC nies providing solutions now 19W for typical operation. The module may connection is provided to Virtex-6 FPGAs ion into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest be conduction-cooled using VITA20 standard (SX315/SX475/LX240T) on Serial RapidIOtion Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you and a heat spreader. Ruggedization options for enabled SCFE-V6-OVPX baseboard. you require for whatever type of technology, and productswide-temperature you are searching for.operation are from -40° to Mercury Computer Systems +85°C and 0.1 g2/Hz vibration.

provides high bandwidth communications to the host processor. The FPGA is directly coupled to two SFP+ ports supporting 1GbE, 10GbE, 10G SONET and various OTU standards up to 2f. The PCIe385N features two banks of DDR3 SDRAM providing up to 16 Gbytes directly coupled to the Stratix V FPGA. The compact form factor is the same size as a standard network card, allowing for easy integration into leading server platforms. Support is provided for slot-powered configuration. Estimated total power consumption in ranges from 25 to 60 watts based on configuration/ Passive and Active heatsink options are available. Tapping into the Altera MegaFunction IP features, the card supports PCIe interface IP and driver software and UniPHY DDR3 memory interface IP. Support is also offered for 10 GbE PHY IP, Parallel Flash Loader CPLD IP and NIOS flash controller IP in the FPGA. Chelmsford, MA.

Innovative Integration Simi Valley, CA. (805) 578-4260. [].

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COTS Journal | May 2012

(978) 967-1401. [].

Nallatech Camarillo, CA. (805) 383-8997. [].


Virtex-7 FPGA SDR Modules Target UAV, Radar and Communications The first member of a new high-performance software defined radio module—the Onyx family from Pentek—is a 4-channel, 200 MHz A/D XMC module based on the Xilinx Virtex-7

VXS/VME Board Provides HighSpeed 12-bit ADCs and DACs VXS continues to provide a “here and now” solution for high-speed VME-based military embedded computing. Feeding that need, TEK Microsystems has announced the latest member of our QuiXilica product family. The new Gemini-V6 supports either one 12-bit analogto-digital converter (ADC) input channel at 3.6 Gsamples/s (GSPS) or three input channels at

PMC Module Serves Up HighDensity User-Programmable FPGA PMC is still going strong as a versatile and proven mezzanine technology. Tews Technologies recently announced the TPMC632, a PMC module providing a user configurable XC6SLX45T-2 or XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan-6 FPGA. Designed for industrial, COTS and transportation applications, where specialized I/O or long-term availability is

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required, the TPMC632 provides a number of FPGA family. Pentek’s Onyx modules use the Get Connected with technology and 1.8 GSPS, combined with a 12-bit DAC output advantages including a customizable interface same modular I/O interfaces as the popular companies providing solutions now channel operating at up to 4.0 GSPS. for unique customer applications and an FPGAVirtex-6 FPGA Cobalt family, while boosting Get Connected new resource for further exploration Gemini-V6 is is abased on the National based design for long-term product lifecycle memory, logic and I/O performance. The new into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal Semiconductor ADC12D1800RF device, which management. Onyx Model 71760, for instance, is similar to is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly supports either a pair of channels in nonThree different module versions are the Cobalt 71660, but has twice the memory with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the interleaved mode or a single channel using 2:1 available. The TPMC632-10 provides 64 ESDcapacity and I/O bandwidth, addressing theof Get Connected goal is to put you in touch with the right resource. interleaved sampling. Gemini-V6 contains two protected TTL lines and the TPMC632-11 offers most challenging unmanned aerial vehicle Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, ADC devices, supporting a total of either three (UAV), radar and communication applications. Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products 32 differential I/O lines using EIA 422 / EIA 485 channels plus trigger at 1.8 GSPS or one channel compatible, ESD-protected line transceivers. As the first in the Onyx product line,you theare searching for. plus trigger at 3.6 GSPS, plus a separate 12-bit The TPMC632-12 provides a mix of 32 TTL Model 71760 demonstrates the relationship of DAC output channel based on the Euvis M653D and 16 differential I/O lines. The integrated the Onyx and Cobalt families. The Onyx Model that operates at up to 4.0 GSPS. The Gemini-V6 Spartan-6’s PCIe Endpoint Block is connected 71760 shares many of the same architectural contains two front-end FPGA devices, one to a PCIe-to-PCI Bridge, which is routed to the and front-end characteristics as the similar attached to the ADCs and one to the DAC. PMC PCI Interface. The FPGA is connected to Cobalt Model 71660 module: a four-channel, The front-end FPGAs can be configured with a 128 Mbyte, 16-bit wide DDR3 SDRAM. The 16-bit, 200 MHz A/D, external sample clock LX240, SX315, or SX475 devices, providing SDRAM interface uses a hardwired internal synchronization and a VITA 42.0 XMCboth the highest FPGA processing Get Connected with technology and density companies providing solutions now Block of the Spartan-6. Memory Controller compatible switched fabric interface. available in any 6U form factor today as well Architectural enhancements in the Onyx Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research th TEWS Technologies as the only VME / VXS platform supporting family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect Virtex-6 FPGAs. Reno, NV. type of technology, whatever in both size and speed to 4 Gbyte and 1600 in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for Thewill twohelp front-end FPGAs arecompanies supplemented you connect with the and products(775) you are searching for. 850-5380. MHz, respectively. The PCIe interface hasGet beenConnected with a “backend” FPGA that can be used for upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak speeds []. additional processing or for backplane or up to 8 Gbyte/s. The 71760 FPGA comes front panel communications. The Gemini-V6 preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions includes six banks of DDR3 memory with total for data capture, synchronization, tagging and capacity of 5 Gbytes and aggregate throughput formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key of 32 Gbytes/s, supporting a wide range of interface for radar, communications or general signal processing algorithms with deep memory data acquisition applications. The Model 71760 buffering of the entire signal acquisition XMC module with 4 Gbyte of memory starts at stream. $15,995, with versions also in PCIe, cPCI and VPX formats. TEK Microsystems


Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].

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Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200. [].

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Rugged Box Server Functions as Six-Way Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. Secure Virtual Machine

Rugged Box System Supports TRL 9 Level of Tech Readiness

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Demands for high compute density, secure trusted computing and multiprocessing all rank high on the list of today’s top military system requirements. Exemplifying all those trends at once, General Micro Systems (GMS) has introduced the “Zeus” (SCZ91X), a “super-server” that blends high computing performance with security of data and operations in a “Trusted Computing Platform.” The system feeds the military’s need for a server that can run multiple applications on different OSs simultaneously without interrupting the main processor or operating system. The Zeus replaces dedicated processing systems or single-level servers—and through a Hypervisor or Virtual Machine Manager—can concurrently run numerous, fully independent operating systems (guests). At the heart of the system is an Intel Westmere-EP processor, the most powerful Xeon 5600 processor. The Zeus is based on six physical CPU cores, with hyperthreading for a total of 12 cores. Each core operates at up to 2.4 GHz, with the ability to run in TurboBoost mode up to 2.67 GHz. Each guest, as well as the core, is assured uninterrupted operation through the integration of the WestmereEP with its fully integrated memory controller and massive highspeed memory. The Zeus boasts up to 96 Gbytes of RAM organized in three banks. Each RAM bank consists of two DDR-3 DIMM arrays with Error Correcting Code (ECC). The ECC RAM supports up to 1333 Mega Transfers per Second (MTS) to/from the CPU. Accommodating the widest array of ultra-high-speed I/O devices, the Zeus comprises a host CPU I/O and six Virtual Machine I/O (VMIO) sites, several of which are available as standards. Two removable 2.5” SSD drives are supported on the host side, as well as one PMC/XMC site and one mSATA drive for a local boot device. Configured as a “share nothing” architecture, each VMIO site is fully independent and is connected to the host CPU via PCI Express lanes only. (If one I/O input is struck by lightning, for example, all the other channels are unaffected.) All I/O transactions are fully monitored through the TPM/TXT/VT-x security engines to assure access is authorized by the host CPU. VMIO connections to the Zeus are through 38999 military connectors. The Zeus also features a “Trusted Computing Platform” design. At the philosophy’s center is the “Trusted Platform Module” (TPM), a hardware-based specification that can be used to encrypt or scramble data, enabling the “sealing” of applications and even an entire operating system. The TPM can also encrypt the system’s configuration, allowing it to pick up on any unsecure devices, and block the computer from starting if one is detected. Some branches of the U.S. government are now requiring TPMs on any new systems purchased. The first fully rugged server in the industry, the Zeus is designed to provide the highest level of server-class performance possible in a ruggedized, conduction-cooled system, operating -40° to +85°C at full load. With conformal coating, the Zeus is unaffected by salt, fog, humidity, fungus or rain; is shock-proof; vibration-proof; and engineered for altitude, all per MIL-STD 810G. The Zeus supports the most common Hypervisors by VMware, Wind River and Microsoft, and can be shipped with operating systems such as Windows 7, Linux and VXWorks already installed. The Zeus (SCZ91X) is available in quantity starting at $24,000.

General Micro Systems, Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863. [].


COTS Journal | May 2012

Aitech Defense Systems offers the highly integrated, compact RediBuilt rugged COTS computer that boots and executes your realtime operating system right out of the box. This flexible computer can accommodate either Intel or Freescale processors as well as a CompactPCI or OpenVPX backplane in a condensed package measuring less than 0.22 ft3, comparable in volume to a 1/4 ATR Short enclosure. Designed to TRL 9 (Technical Readiness Level) as defined by the DoD, NASA and other government agencies, RediBuilt eliminates all NRE (non-recurring engineering) and

customization costs. It is a highly capable, fully functioning embedded computing subsystem proven through successful operation, complete with built-in, real-world I/O and HD (high definition) graphics and video capabilities. Equipped with standard, circular MILDTL-38999 I/O connectors on the front panel and a two-slot 3U CompactPCI or OpenVPX backplane, RediBuilt provides all system interconnections, internal power distribution and filtering circuitry pre-assembled in the unit. The computer’s integrated functionality, combined with its lightweight, rugged aluminum enclosure, makes the RediBuilt ideal for demanding applications where SWaP is important, as found extensively in military and airborne computing environments. The unit measures 202 mm (W) x 260 mm (D) x 126 mm (H) and weighs less than 13 lbs complete.

Aitech Defense Systems, Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. [].

COTS PRODUCTS Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Fanless, SuperwithSlim System withfeatured Intelin Atom Dual Core CPU and 1080p Get Connected companies and products this section. Graphics Logic Supply has introduced the LGX AG150 Dual Core Atom Fanless System. It features the new Intel Atom Cedarview N2800 1.86 GHz Dual Core processor housed in a solid, low-profile chassis less than 1.5” thick. For I/O connectivity, the front panel offers two USB 2.0 ports and an option for two additional RS232 COM ports. On the back panel, the system has two USB 2.0 ports, Intel Gigabit LAN, VGA, HDMI and two audio jacks. Two antenna punch-outs for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other networking and a space for a 4-pin cable harness for use in automotive applications are also available off the back. Completely fanless and enclosed in an extruded aluminum chassis, the system has full-height and half-height PCIe Mini Card slots with the latter doubling as mSATA, allowing users to install a solid-state boot drive to supplement a 2.5-inch storage device and take advantage of embedded operating systems.

Logic Supply, South Burlington, VT. (802) 861-2600. [].

SBC Blends PCI Express, PC/104 and 1.66 GHz Atom Getting legacy I/O to work with advanced computing architectures is not a straightforward task. Easing the way, WinSystems has announced their PXM-C388-S, a PC/104-compatible SBC powered by an Intel 1.66 GHz Atom processor. This new SBC adds the SUMIT (Stackable Unified Modular Interconnect Technology) I/O expansion connector onto a PC/104 expandable SBC. This combination provides designers easy I/O expansion for the thousands of standard and custom designed PC/104 modules currently available worldwide plus enhanced performance and throughput of stackable PCI Express (PCIe) and USB. The PXM-C388-S processor’s high performance enables designs that need multiple video input data streams and high-speed A/D, which opens up applications for security, automated inspection of production lines, data acquisition and machine-to-machine communications in a small, rugged form factor. The PXM-C388 provides a rich array of onboard peripherals plus I/O expansion options. It features a Gigabit Ethernet port; simultaneous CRT and LVDS flat panel video support, eight USB 2.0 ports, four serial COM ports, SATA controller, PATA controller for the CompactFlash socket, twenty-four lines of digital I/O, and HD audio. The PCM-C388 has both PC/104 (ISA) and SUMIT AB expansion connectors to allow self stacking I/O modules to be added for even more I/O flexibility. The PXM-C388-S requires only +5 volts and typically draws 2.5A. It supports power savings modes, which will reduce the standby current to 270 mA (S3 power state). The board is RoHS-compliant and can operate over an industrial temperature range of -40° to +85°C. The PXMC388-S1-0-0 is priced at $499 (qty. 1).

PMC Module Serves Up HighDensity User-Programmable FPGA PMC is still going strong as a versatile and proven mezzanine technology. Tews Technologies recently announced the TPMC632, a PMC module providing a user configurable XC6SLX45T-2 or XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan-6 FPGA. Designed for industrial, COTS and transportation applications, where specialized I/O or long-term availability is required, the TPMC632 provides a number of advantages including a customizable interface for unique customer applications and an FPGAbased design for long-term product lifecycle management. Three different module versions are available. The TPMC632-10 provides 64 ESDprotected TTL lines and the TPMC632-11 offers 32 differential I/O lines using EIA 422 / EIA 485 compatible, ESD-protected line transceivers. The TPMC632-12 provides a mix of 32 TTL and 16 differential I/O lines. The integrated Spartan-6’s PCIe Endpoint Block is connected to a PCIe-to-PCI Bridge, which is routed to the PMC PCI Interface. The FPGA is connected to a 128 Mbytes, 16-bit wide DDR3 SDRAM. The SDRAM interface uses a hardwired internal Memory Controller Block of the Spartan-6.

TEWS Technologies, Reno, NV. (775) 850-5380. [].

WinSystems, Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [].

Long Lifespan Laptop Boasts Xeon Processor E5-2690 with 8 Cores Eurocom is now supporting the Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 in its Panther 4.0 Mobile Servers, along with an entire range of Intel Xeon E5 processors. Eurocom’s Panther line of high-performance Mobile Servers will be bolstered by the introduction of the Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 and complete line of Intel LGA2011 processors. The Panther 4.0 is the world’s first Sandy Bridge-E notebook with a full X79 chipset using the LGA2011 socket. Eurocom Mobile Servers are ideal for professionals and teams who frequently travel yet need access to high-performance computing. Eurocom Panther 4.0 provides 4 Terabytes of storage with four physical SATA-300 or SATA-600 Solid State, Hybrid or hard disk drives and RAID 0/1/5/10 capability. The system uses quad channel memory, and enables the Panther 4.0 to initially support up to 32 Gbytes of DDR3 1600 MHz RAM via four 8 Gbyte SODIMM 204 pin modules.

Eurocom, Nepean, Ontario, Canada. (613) 224-6122. []. May 2012 | COTS Journal


COTS PRODUCTS Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

OpenVPX Chassis Morphs from Development System to Deployed Unit Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) has introduced a new rugged chassis designed to support a development-to-deployment approach that reduces risk, schedule and cost. The new D2D ¾ ATR, a 6-slot ¾ ATR-style forced air/conduction-cooled Get with systems companies productsthe featured in this section. to use the same enclosure, via chassis, eases the design of 3U Connected OpenVPX-based byand enabling system integrator simple configuration upgrades, throughout the complete program lifecycle, from development to demonstration and all the way to deployment. The enclosure supports up to 6 slots of 3U 1.0-inch pitch payload OpenVPX cards. The D2D ¾ ATR enables system designers to commence development with a COTS Lab configuration chassis version using rugged conduction-cooled payload and upgrade the enclosure as needed for demonstration and deployment stages. The development version (lab only) has a standard backplane using I/O cabling, a chassis “bottom hat” and I/O cabling. A chassis “top hat” can be used if needed for module faceplate I/O cabling such as fiber optics and RF coax. Connections for external power supplies are available along with industrial grade fans. Next, a demonstration upgrade adds an internal cabled power supply. And then finally, the rugged deployed upgrade replaces standard backplane and I/O cables with custom backplane, and I/O panel with application-specific I/O signals. The “bottom hat” is also removed in this version. Power supply is upgraded to an internal MIL grade power supply that plugs into the backplane. Meanwhile, MIL grade fans are added for extended temperature and shock/vibration. The deployment version of the D2D ¾ ATR chassis measures 7.62 inches high, 7.50 inches wide and 12.61 inches deep (without optional fan assembly), and weighs 13.7 lbs (6.2 kg) without fan assembly.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

Noise Reduction Leads to Quiet Rugged Computers In the past, industrial computers were placed in manufacturing sites or outdoor environments fairly tolerant of noise. However, as industrial computer applications have become more and more diverse, these computers are also being used in indoor placements, in environments more sensitive to noise, including some military applications. With that in mind, Advantech is introducing its Intelligent IPCs, Quiet Industrial Computers. ISO 7779 is the test specification Advantech is currently using, and the system idle noise level is controlled down to as low as 35 dBA. A Quiet Industrial Computer line from Advantech features a full range of selections with acoustic and thermal optimization. The smart fan, for example, adjusts rotation speed while addressing both cooling and noise issues. Advantech Quiet Industrial Computers support the Intel 2nd generation Core i7 processors and DDR3 memory modules. They also feature two form factors—a 4U rackmount enclosure and a compact size wallmount enclosure. Both form factors support Advantech industrial-grade ATX and MicroATX motherboards, the AIMB-781, AIMB-767 and AIMB-581 series.

Advantech, Irvine, CA. (949) 789-7178. [].

PCI Express Net Processing Card Uses Altera Stratix V FPGA Nallatech has announced the availability of the PCIe-385N. This FPGA network processing card delivers Altera Stratix V Series performance with PCI Express 8-lane Gen3 bandwidth in a “low profile” half-height, half-length PCIe card. The card’s simple architecture is ideally suited to real-time network processing and algorithm-acceleration applications. The board supports several FPGAs within Altera’s latest Stratix V family. A PCIe Gen3 8-lane bus provides high bandwidth communications to the host processor. The FPGA is directly coupled to two SFP+ ports supporting 1GbE, 10GbE, 10G SONET and various OTU standards up to 2f. The PCIe-385N features two banks of DDR3 SDRAM providing up to 16 Gbytes directly coupled to the Stratix V FPGA. The compact form factor is the same size as a standard network card, allowing for easy integration into leading server platforms.

Nallatech, Camarillo, CA. (805) 383-8997. [].

Chassis Mount DC/DC Converter Delivers 40 Watts Calex has announced the 40-watt NCM single output chassis mount DC/DC Series. The NCM is housed in a rugged cast chassis mount enclosure with protected, recessed barrier strips facing the top of the case. The recessed barrier strips allow connections to be made in tight quarters while protecting the barrier strip from physical damage. All models are fully encapsulated to further protect the unit against shock, vibration, dust and moisture. The NCM Series offers three input ranges, 9-18 VDC, 18-36 VDC or 36-75 VDC. Output voltages are 3.3, 5, 12 and 15 VDC. The operating case temperature range of the NCM is -40° to +100°C.

Calex, Concord, CA. (925) 687-4411. []. 64

COTS Journal | May 2012

COTS PRODUCTS Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Network Platform Sports Freescale P1010 Processor WIN Enterprises has announced the PL-80390, a

Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. compact network security platform designed for Internet

security applications. The device supports applications such as firewall, SPAM filtering, VPN, UTM, gateway, router and Internet services. The unit is designed with the Freescale P1010 processor and supports DDR3 onboard memory. It supports two Atheros AR8033/AR8035 GbE Ethernet ports with bypass function and four GbE Switch ports. Each Ethernet interface has its own LED to indicate line activity and transfer rate status. For ease-of-access the back panel has USB 2.0 ports and a console port for local system management, maintenance and diagnostics.

WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000. [].

Family of Quad Serial FPDP Modules Supports High-Speed Digital Data Many applications need to deliver high-speed data between systems or from sensors to a data acquisition system over extended distances. As a popular industry standard, Serial FPDP offers a fast, efficient, bi-directional point-to-point interconnect solution. Applications such as military radar, signal intelligence and medical imaging can take advantage of this high-throughput, minimum latency protocol. With all that in mind, Pentek has introduced two Quad Serial FPDP (Front Panel Data Port) modules with a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA—the Model 71611 XMC module and the Model 7811 native PCI Express card. These new Serial FPDP modules extend Pentek’s Virtex-6 Cobalt product line by providing four channels of serial communication with up to 1 Gbyte per second of aggregate data transfer capability. These new products provide very competitive alternatives to other sFPDP products in the market. The inclusion of a user-configurable Virtex-6 FPGA allows customers to extend the factory installed sFPDP functions to perform custom signal processing for both inbound and outbound data streams. As an XMC module, the Model 71611 can be installed on any XMC carrier making this an attractive option for VPX, PCIe and CompactPCI platforms. The 71611 has 2 Gbyte of DDR3 SDRAM for FIFO memory buffering of DMA packets and an optional PMC P14 connector for custom I/O through 20 pairs of LVDS connections to the FPGA. The Model 7811 native PCI Express (PCIe) card can be installed on any motherboard with PCIe card slots. Both the 71611 and the 7811 support Gen2 PCIe and offer a range of Virtex-6 devices so developers can add additional FPGA IP to match custom processing requirements. The Virtex-6 is ideal for modulation/demodulation, encoding/decoding, encryption/decryption and channelization of signals for transmission and reception. The Model 7811 Quad Serial FPDP PCI Express card starts at $6,495. The Model 71611 is available in XMC, cPCI, PCIe and VPX form factors with options for rugged and conduction-cooled models.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies Get Extended Runtime Battery Bank Option Falcon Electric has added a ruggedized wide temperature (-30° to 63°C) extended runtime battery bank option to its popular SSG and SSG-RP UPS products. The widetemperature-rated batteries provide long back-up runtimes for protecting connected computers and instrumentation operating in harsh environments during a prolonged power outage. The new battery pack gives users over 10 times the battery runtime, compared to Falcon’s standard 2U extended battery pack option. The new battery bank carries a UL listing when powering Falcon’s unique UL-listed SSG2.5KRP-1. UL is pending for the remaining models in the SSG and SSG-RP Series widetemperature-rated UPS product line. The SSGB-1S40-5U 40AH battery bank is a rugged battery option that consists of eight deep cycle, valve regulated lead-acid, maintenance-free 40 Amp Hour (AH) batteries and two internal one amp chargers. The batteries and chargers are housed in a sleek rackmount enclosure that takes only 5U (8.75 inches) of vertical rack space. The battery banks may be interconnected or “daisy chained” to provide exceptionally long battery runtimes and can be easily added in the field after the SSG units are installed and in service. The SSGB-1S40-5U 40AH is priced at $2,995.

Falcon Electric, Irwindale, CA. (626) 962-7770. [].

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].

16 Gbyte MicroSDHC Card Suits Extreme Environments An industrial-grade MicroSDHC memory card targets high reliability and longevity even in extreme environments for mission-critical applications. The shock-resistant industrial-grade MicroSDHC memory card from Apacer comes in capacities of 4, 8 and 16 Gbyte. One of the highlights is its firmware and major components that can be fixed right after customer’s recognition and validation. This reduces the risk of outof-stock and compatibility issues by providing customers stable supply and high reliability. The industrialgrade MicroSDHC memory card is compliant with the SD 3.0 Specification and supports Class 10 high-speed transmissions with sequential read/write speeds reaching up to 20 and 14 Mbyte/s respectively while fulfilling the requirements for high-capacity and high-speed data storage. The Global Wear leveling also helps deliver a phenomenally prolonged lifespan, as well as safer data storage.

Apacer, Milpitas, CA. (408) 518-8699. []. May 2012 | COTS Journal


COTS PRODUCTS Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Second Gen Core i7-Based 6U cPCI Blade Has Remote Management A 6U CompactPCI processor blade is based on the latest quad- and dual-core 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors with up to 16 Gbyte DDR3-1600 memory support. The cPCI-6210 Series from Get Connectedcomputing with companies and products featured inmanagement this section. features such as PICMG Adlink Technology is a performance solution with enhanced 2.9-compliant IPMI, remote management based on Intel vPro technology, and optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for security management. The cPCI-6210 Series offers enhanced processing and graphics performance. Dual independent display functionality is provided via dual-mode DisplayPort and DVI-I graphics interfaces. The DisplayPort interface supports single-link DVI or HDMI with a passive adapter cable and analog VGA output via an active adapter cable. When coupled with an Adlink XMC-G460 graphics module installed in the XMC site or an Adlink cPCI-R6700 Rear Transition Module, the cPCI-6210 Series supports up to four independent displays. Storage interfaces supported by the cPCI-6210 Series include one SATA 6 Gbit/s direct connector for a 2.5” HDD/ SSD, one 7-pin SATA port for external storage, an optional CompactFlash socket, a built-in CFast socket and three SATA ports routed to the RTM with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. Up to eight SAS/SATA interfaces with hardware RAID are supported by the cPCI-R6200 RTM. The cPCI-6210 Series can operate in a system slot as a master or in a peripheral slot as a standalone blade for high density computing applications. In addition, the series is compliant with the PICMG 2.9 specification and supports system management functions based on the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) as well as hardware monitoring of physical characteristics such as CPU and system temperature, DC voltages and power status. TPM 1.2 is also supported on selected models to provide efficient hardware-based data protection.

ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. [].

VME SBC Uses Freescale P5020 QorIQ Processor A VME/VXS SBC offered by Emerson Network Power, the MVME8100, features the Freescale P5020 QorIQ processor supported by up to 8 Gbytes of high-speed DDR3-1333 MHz ECC memory and 8 Gbyte MMC NAND Flash. The board also features 512 Kbytes of non volatile F-RAM. The board features a best-in-class operating temperature range of -40° to 85°C. Rugged models are capable of operating with up to 10G of vibration (15 to 2000 Hz) and can withstand an 11 millisecond shock of up to 40G. Conformal coating is also available as an option. The MVME8100 offers extensive I/O including PCIe and SRIO fabric connectivity and multiple USB, Serial and Ethernet ports. Onboard expansion includes an optional mounting kit for a 2.5-inch SATA drive and two PMC/XMC sites.

Emerson Network Power, Embedded Computing, Tempe, AZ. (602) 438-5720. [].

SBC Boasts Intel Gen2 Core i7/i5, Celeron 1.6 GHz 2.5 GHz A new SBC features 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2510E (DC), i72710QE (Quad) and Celeron B810 processors, which integrate Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 engine and the memory controller functions of a traditional GMCH. The QM67 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) provides PCI Express 2.0 I/O bandwidth at twice the speed (5 Gbit/s) of previous Intel Core or Core 2 Duo platforms. The ADLQM67HDS from ADL Embedded Solutions also supports a broad set of features. The board has a discrete 8-bit digital I/O port as well as separate DVI-I and HDMI interfaces. The onboard DVI-I connector provides signaling for analog VGA, and can be configured as an HDMI output with audio. The card also has 4x RS-232 COM ports, 4x SATA with RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 support. Two of the ports support up to SATA 6G while the other two support SATA 3G. 10x USB2.0 with 4x onboard connectors, two bootable Gigabit Ethernet LAN, HDA 7.1.

ADL Embedded Solutions, San Diego, CA. (858) 490-0597. [].

AMD Embedded G-Series-Based Cards Support COM Express Pin-Out Type 2 Kontron has announced the availability of two new variants to enhance its COMe-cOH2 range of COM Express compact Computer-on-Modules. The new modules are dedicated to PCI-based designs and are based on the energy efficient AMD Embedded G-Series accelerated processing units (APUs). The compact Kontron COMe-cOH2 provides increased graphics performance to SFF COM Express applications with pin-out type 2, as well as parallel processing capability and low power consumption. The Kontron COMe-cOH2 variants, based on the COM Express type 2 pin-out, are available with the 1.2 GHz AMD T44R single-core APU with 512 Kbit cache and AMD Radeon HD6250 GPU (Kontron COMe-cOH2 T44R), or the 1.65 GHz dual-core variant AMD T56N APU with AMD Radeon HD6310 graphics core and 2 x 512 Kbit cache (COMe-cOH2 T56N). The modules can host 8 Gbyte of DDR3 RAM via two memory sockets. Compliant with the new COM Express specification COM.0 rev. 2.0, they implement PCI 2.3, 32 bit / 33 MHz plus six Gen 2.0 PCI Express lanes. They offer up to four SATA 3 ports to connect storage media, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and six USB 2.0 ports. In accordance with the COM Express pin-out type 2, the Kontron COMe-cOH2 features a VGA and 24-bit single channel LVDS interface for resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels.

Kontron America, Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. []. 66

COTS Journal | May 2012


Solid as a Rock... and twice as Cool!

PMC/XMC Module Sports Freescale QorIQ P2041 CPU For designs using a PrPMC/XMC processor mezzanine installed on a carrier baseboard, the XPedite5600 from Extreme Engineering Solutions offers an easy upgrade path to a higher-performance processor mezzanine subsystem. The XPedite5600 features include a Freescale P2040 or P2041 processor with four PowerPC e500mc cores running at up to 1.5 GHz and implemented on an air-cooled PrPMC/XMC form factor. The module supports up to 8 Gbyte of DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM along with two rear I/O SATA 3.0 Gbit/s ports. It includes a x4 PCI Express Gen2 XMC interface or 32-bit PCI PMC interface plus one front panel and one rear I/O USB 2.0 port. There are three rear I/O Gigabit Ethernet ports plus one on the front panel and two I/O RS-232/422/485 serial ports each on the front and rear panels.

Ruggedized 3U Multi Protocol R AID Systems No matter how you shake it, bake it, or configure it, everyone knows the reputation, value and endurance of Phoenix solid state and rotating disk products. Leading the way in rugged COTS data storage technology for decades, Phoenix keeps you on the leading edge with very cool products!

We Put the State of Art to Work

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [].

Intelligent Vehicle Displays Target Harsh Environments

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Two rugged intelligent vehicle displays are designed for deployment in harsh environments such as tanks and other ground combat vehicles for applications including embedded training, 360° situational awareness, Untitled-5 terrain visualization and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) as well as commander and gunner display consoles. Both displays integrate advanced processing capabilities to deliver a complete, self-contained, COTS display solution with a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) that enables prime contractors and OEMs to shorten time-to-market, minimize program risk and more easily add value to create competitive advantage. The IVD2010 and IVD2015 from GE Intelligent Platforms also include the advanced thermal management capabilities necessary for deployment in confined spaces. The 10.4â&#x20AC;? screen IVD2010 and 15â&#x20AC;? screen IVD2015 XGA (1,024 x 768) resolution smart displays both incorporate not only an Intel Core2 Duo processor operating at 2.26 GHz but also a 96-core NVIDIA GT 240 GPU. Together with 4 Gbytes of SDRAM3 memory and four simultaneous video inputs, this equips them to handle the most demanding, sophisticated graphics applications such as picture-in-picture and symbology overlay, stitching multiple videos into a single panorama, and allows high-performance GPGPU applications to be deployed directly on the display unit. Both the IVD2010 and IVD2015 also include display features designed to deliver optimum screen visibility and usability, thereby maximizing personnel effectiveness. These features include LED illumination for sunlight readability and MIL-STD-3009 NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) compatibility; a multitouch resistive touchscreen; and a highquality optical stack-up with toughened glass.


GE Intelligent Platforms, Huntsville, AL. (780) 401-7700. [].

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3.5â&#x20AC;? SCSI SSD

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SE/LVD/HVD & extended temp options. Replacement for obsolete SCSI drives. SCSI legacy support now and into the future. Uses COTS 2.5â&#x20AC;? SSDs. Options for discrete controlled secure erase.

RedRockTechnologies,Inc. 480Ͳ483Ͳ3777

May 2012 | COTS Journal


11/22/11 9:59:56 AM

ADVERTISERS INDEX Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website Phoenix


Pico Electronics, Inc...........................35.....................

Avionics Interface Technologies.........17..................................

Red Rock Technologies,

Ballard Technology,

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.......2..........................................

Calex Mfg. Co., Inc...............................4......................................

RunCore SSD......................................50.................................

Chassis Plans, LLC.............................31.......................

SIE Computing Solutions,

Cogent Computer Systems,

Crane Aerospace & Electronics..........47.................................


Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense

TE Connectivity TeleCommunication Systems,

DataBus Products


Design Automation Conference..........53........................................

Trenton Technology, Inc......................39.....................

Elma Electronic, Inc..............................7.......................................

Triple E Corporation............................18..............................

Extreme Engineering Solutions,


GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc...............21.....................................

VPE, VXS and OpenVPX SBCs & Solid-State Disk Drives Gallery....................69



Lind Electronics,


Linear Technology Mercury Computer Systems, Nallatech, Inc.......................................38...............................


Neuro Logic Systems, Ocean Server Technology, Octagon Systems Corporation............25................... One Stop Systems, Inc........................51................... Pelican Products, Inc..........................27........................... Pentek, Inc...........................................72...................................


A seasoned embedded technology professional? Experienced in the industrial and military procurement process? Ever thinking about writing as a career? CONTACT SANDRA SILLION AT THE RTC GROUP TO EXPLORE AN OPPORTUNITY

COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673.

Coming Next Month Special Feature: Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More Tried and true I/O schemes such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 remain popular for pure control applications, but they’re bandwidth-limited by today’s standards. A slew of multipurpose communications protocols provide options to suit emerging needs, and Ethernet is a top contender among them. Articles in this section compare today’s crop of I/O schemes relevant to avionics and other military users. Tech Recon: Military Data Storage: SSD and HDD Tradeoffs As military systems continue to rely more and more on compute- and data-intensive software, the storage subsystem is now a mission-critical piece of the puzzle. This section examines the emergence of Ethernet and IP-based storage interfaces, while comparing how traditional interface schemes like SATA, Fibre Channel and SCSI are positioned these days. Rotating drives still offer the best density, but flash-based solid-state disks (F-SSDs) are able to operate under the harshest conditions. This Tech Recon section updates readers on high-density storage systems and provides a product album of representative drives. System Development: Non-Backplane COM vs. VME/cPCI Slot-Card Architectures COM boards provide a complete computing core that can be upgraded when needed, leaving the application-specific I/O on the baseboard. COM Express adds high-speed fabric interconnects to the mix. As complete systems become more doable using those technologies, they’re beginning to replace some platforms that once relied on slot-card systems like VME and cPCI. But for many military applications, the advantages of a slot-card approach take precedence. This section compares the tradeoffs between busless COM systems versus the slot-card VME/cPCI kind of approach. Tech Focus: PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards PC/104 has become entrenched as a popular military form factor thanks to its compact size and inherent ruggedness. Sweetening the deal, a number of special enclosure techniques are used to outfit PC/104 for extremely harsh environments. This Tech Focus section updates readers on these trends, along with a look at the new PC/104 follow-ons: EPIC, PCI-104, PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104. Also provided is a product album of representative boards. 68

COTS Journal | May 2012

VME, VXS and OpenVPX SBCs & Solid-State Disk Drives Gallery RIO5-8088

Featuring the latest in VME, VXS and OpenVPX SBCs & Solid-State Disk Drives technologies

The RIO5-8088 is a conduction-cooled VXS SBC with two Freescale MPC8640D processors and a user-programmable Virtex-6 FPGA providing eight userdefined high-speed links on P0. A switch links the four front-panel and two rear-IO GETH ports to the FPGA and processors.

CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA Phone: +41 22 884 51 00 Fax: +41 22 794 74 30

mySSD O-Series

TRRUST-Stor™ Solid State Disk

Dane-Elec’s new mySSD O-Series is engineered for the harsh environments encountered in the embedded computing, server, notebook, and tablet categories. Dane-Elec offers custom mySSD drives for special programs. The standard O-Series features 64/128/240 GB capacities, MLC/SLC NAND Flash, SATA 3Gb/sec (SATA II) and SMI 2244 controller.

With encryption, unparalleled ruggedization and blazing fast erase, Microsemi’s TRRUST-Stor™ solid state drive is designed for secure, high integrity data storage in military applications. TRRUST-Stor delivers reliability, performance, and security even in harsh environments and extreme conditions. 64 to 512 GB densities Hardware-implemented AES-256 encryption Multiple key management techniques Full drive erase in less than 4 seconds Available with unique ruggedized SATA connectors

Dane-Elec Phone: (949) 450-2988 Fax: (949) 450-9388

Microsemi PMGP (formerly White Electronic Designs) E-mail: Web:

Phone: (602) 437-1520

VPX55-3 DC/DC Power Supply 300W, 3U, VPX

North Atlantic Industries, Inc. E-mail: Web:

E-mail: Web:

MACH16 SATA SLC I-Temp (200GB)

VITA 62 compatible Rugged/Conduction-cooled Meets NAVMAT guidelines EMI Filtering designed to MIL-STD461F Transient Protection per MIL-STD704F & MIL-STD-1275 (optional) Remote Error Sensing Current Share 0.08” pitch

Phone: (631) 567-1100 Fax: (631) 567-1823

E-mail: Web:

STEC, Inc.

STEC’s MACH16™ I-Temp SSDs provide advanced levels of data storage reliability and performance. Unique flash management technologies, including STEC’s proprietary flash controller technology, Secure Array of Flash Elements™ (SAFE) Technology and CellCare™ Technology, enable MACH16 SSDs to deliver an unmatched combination of read and write performance, reduced power usage and endurance within extreme environments (Temperature: -40°C to 85°C, Shock: 1,500G, Altitude: -1,000 to 80,000ft).

Phone: (949) 476-1180 Fax: (949) 476-1209

E-mail: Web:

MACH16 Slim SATA SLC I-Temp (50GB)

MACH4 SLC I-Temp (8GB)

STEC, Inc.

STEC’s SLC flash-based MACH16™ Slim SATA SSD is purpose-built to manage your most mission-critical industrial embedded applications. With the MACH16 Slim SATA SSD, less is more—70% less power consumption within a total embedded storage footprint that’s 60% smaller than HDDs, and because of its standard 22-pin SATA connector, it’s an easy HDD drop-in replacement. Add high tolerance to temperature, shock and vibration and STEC’s patented Secure Array of Flash Elements™ (SAFE) and PowerSafe™ technologies.

STEC, Inc.

Phone: (949) 476-1180 Fax: (949) 476-1209

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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Superheroes and Supercomputing


ith Marvel’s movie The Avengers out earlier this month, superheroes are very popular right now. One staple of comic book superheroes is that they always have that ever important origin story. That got me thinking about the roots of some of today’s key embedded computing technology that’s vital to military systems, but taken for granted today. Even when switched fabrics started to migrate into the mainstream embedded computing realm almost 15 years ago, the military market expressed quite clearly that they were not interested in them. From the military’s point of view and their decades-long design cycles, it was viewed as too risky to take any long-term development project on an interconnect scheme that wouldn’t be around in a few years. At the same time, everyone on the technology supplier side knew that the inherent performance limitations of parallel buses like ordinary VME64 and PCI meant an eventual shift toward serial switched fabrics. I recall my long time friend and industry force of nature Ray Alderman debating the merits of different switch fabric alternatives over the years. Only old timers will recall technologies that didn’t make the cut like Sebring Ring, StarFabric, Future I/O, NG I/O… the list was pretty extensive at one time. Along the way the boardlevel embedded computing community has been an effective filter for these technologies. This community has shown an ability to develop, weed out and then productize technologies critical to the military market, and to do so long before military system designers know what they want or need. And serial switched fabrics to me are one of the most vivid examples of that phenomenon. For its part, the VME community, with Executive Director of VITA Ray Alderman at the helm, started the ball rolling years ago on the underlying spec development to bring serial switched fabrics into the VME space. Among those are VXS and VPX. The VME realm isn’t the only arena where switched fabrics are making their presence felt. Fabrics—and PCI Express, in particular—have been implemented across all areas of standards-based mid- and high-embedded architectures including ATCA, COM Express and others. Much like the embedded board-level community itself, the editors of COTS Journal and its sister publication RTC magazine were covering switched fabrics long before they were fashionable. Over the years we’ve published more articles on all the various switched fabrics—and all of their ins and outs—than any publication in the industry. So we’ve been on top of the evolution of fabrics all the way through. The ever-cautious military market has warmed to them—in the form of VXS, VPX and others—and they have broken free from their status as exotic, risky solutions. It pleases me, 70

COTS Journal | May 2012

the notion that these technologies are now moving on to center stage and becoming a real factor in military system designs. Not resting on its heels, VITA continues to explore new territories of computing that are relevant to the demands of military systems. In the latest example, VITA last month announced the formation of a working group that will develop the pin-outs and the connection diagrams for building 4- and 6-dimensional hypercubes. These hypercubes enable using the VPX architecture as a standard supercomputing platform for embedded applications running complex algorithms for radar, sonar, SIGINT and other data-intensive applications. According to Ray Alderman, “It may be an addition to the present OpenVPX document as new profiles, or it may be a new specification, if the working group agrees.” Ray explained that a 4-dimensional hypercube can be designed with as few as four VPX modules, with four nodes on a module. A 64-node, 6-dimensional hypercube could be built with 16 VPX modules, with four nodes on a module. Apparently a hypercube architecture offers the advantage that each node (vertice) has n number of connections with 2n nodes total. This architecture is very deterministic because the number of links to any node never exceeds n-1. Hypercubes larger than 6 dimensions tend to have too much latency and become too unwieldy for many applications. Hypercubes are more manageable than a full mesh design that routes each node to every node. With more than 5 or 6 nodes, the number of links becomes too complex to cost-effectively support in a full mesh architecture. The bottom line is that this need for massively parallel computers for complex algorithms continues to grow. The VPX architecture is well positioned to meet the requirements driven by dataintensive critical embedded systems. This need will only accelerate as new algorithms continue to emerge that will require tremendous amounts of computing power and interconnect bandwidth. According to VITA, the working group will be developing implementations using existing copper wire based interconnects and mapping out solutions for optical interconnects using the ANSI/ VITA 66 Optical Interconnect on VPX specification. Which reminds me, for more than a decade Ray has never failed to slip optical backplane interconnects into the conversation. And while 10 years ago I may have rolled my eyes, I can’t deny that we’ve moved into an era of computing where such technology finally fits with the computing landscape—which is why I count Ray among my favorite industry superheroes, though I wouldn’t say it to his face. VITA is asking companies interested in participating in the working group to contact them.


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